Birthday Celebration of 11th Panchen Lama, the youngest prisoner in the world

Zurich: On 25th April, Tibetans around the world celebrated and wished Panchen Lama on his 30th Birthday. Tibetan Women Association and the Tibetan Youth Congress in Switzerland jointly organized a Birthday celebration at Zürich. Some 50 Tibetans and local supporters have gathered, and they gathered at in front of Chinese Consulate in Zürich. They raised slogans to seek information on the whereabouts of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and demanded the immediate release of the Panchen Lama.

Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was recognized as the 11th Panchen Lama by H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama with Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Tibet. But he was abducted by the Chinese authority at the age of six and his whereabouts are still unknown. Shortly after abducting the Panchen Lama in 1995, China selected another boy to replace the original Panchen Lama. This Chinese selected Panchen Lama takes part in formal events and serves as a proxy for the Chinese government. Historically, the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama had a teacher-student relationship and had played a role in recognition of each other`s reincarnation. China plans to play a role in this matter. Interference of the Chinese government in the century’s old Tibetan Buddhist religious practices and tradition of reincarnation clearly shows that there is no religious freedom in Tibet.

Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) in India celebrated not only the 30th Birthday of 11th Panchen Lama but also honoured the legacy of the 10th Panchen Lama. CTA President Dr. Lobsang Sangay and the Chief Guest Mr. Mankotia released an updated version of the book titled “The Panchen Lama Lineage: How reincarnation is Being Reinvented as a Political Tool” and two short videos.

Tibetan Women Association in India has organized a Peace March to commemorate the auspicious day and to demand the Chinese authority to release Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the real Panchen Lama.
BBC showed a forensic image of what 11th Panchen Rinpoche may look like today after Chinese authorities abducted him 24 years ago when he was only six.

by Nyima Arya

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