In 2011 Akong Tulku Rinpoche was chosen as a recipient of the "60 years, 6 people" accolade, in which the British Home Secretary awarded former refugees who had made a meaningful contribution to Britain.
He also wrote three books, with the first one "Taming the Tiger", being translated into 17 languages.
Tributes have started coming in for one of the founders of the Samye Ling centre, Choje Akong Rinpoche, who has reportedly been killed in China.
The head of the 900-year-old Karma Kagyu Lineage sent this message:
Akong Tulku has been my friend from the time I was seven. A social activist, he showed great kindness to Tibet by founding schools and hospitals, printing old texts, and helping many people.
"Thus I am shocked to hear that he along with two others has been taken from us so suddenly. I would like to offer my condolences to his family members, everyone at Samye Ling Monastery, the Rokpa Foundation, and all the persons involved in his projects in Tibet as well as to all of the students whose lives he touched.
"I hope that all of his visions and aspirations may continue to be fulfilled.
– The Gyalwang Karmapa, head of the 900-year-old Karma Kagyu Lineage
In 1967 Akong Rinpoche and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche founded the first Tibetan Buddhist Centre in the west, the Kaygu Samye Ling centre.
Samye Ling is home to a residential community of over 60 people, made up of both monastic and lay volunteers.
It has been reported that the founder of the Eskdalemuir-based Samye Ling Centre has been killed in China.
The Abbot of the Samye Ling centre said his brother, Choje Akong Rinpoche, who was the founder of the monastery, has been killed in Chengdu.
Lama Yeshe Rinpoche broke the news on the Tibetan Buddhist Centre's facebook page.
He also reported the deaths of his nephew and another monk.
"To all dear friends of Samye Ling and Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche"I am very, very sorry to inform you all that tragically, my brother Choje Akong Rinpoche, my nephew and one monk who was travelling with them, were all killed in Chengdu today.
"Rinpoche’s body has been taken to hospital where a post mortem will be carried out. That is all the news I have so far. If I receive further news I will let you know.
"My nephew Kating Lama has been able to inform His Holiness Karmapa’s sister who has informed H H Karmapa, H H Dalai Lama and Chamgon Kenting Tai Situpa and they are all saying prayers.
"We will have to do a lot of special prayers and make a lot of appropriate offerings on Rinpoche’s behalf and any contributions you wish to make in his name will be much appreciated.
"I request you all to do whatever prayers you can.