China stole a boy… it’s time they gave back the man.
What has happened to the Panchen Lama?
On May 14, 1995 The Dalai Lama, recognized Gendhun Choekyi Nyima as the 11th Panchen Lama of Tibet. This extremely important decision by His Holiness culminated a six year, difficult and thorough process of searching for the incarnation of The 10th Panchen Lama. Gendun Choekyi Nyima is from a semi-pastoralist family that, at one time, lived in the Lhari District in Kam, Tibet. Gendhun Choekyi Nyima is considered the youngest political prisoner in the world. Gendhun Choekyi Nyima was born on April 25th, 1989.
On May 17, 1995 Gendhun Choekyi Nyima, His family, and the Abbott, Chadrel Rinpoche (Cha Tsa Chagbazeling) and His Secretary, who both led the search party for this incarnate were taken by The People’s Republic of China (PRC) to Beijing. Thus, these persons are now political prisoners of The PRC Government. As of today, all of these persons are still missing and there has been no indication that they are alive.
Since His disappearance, The PRC has changed its’ position on the whereabouts of Gendhun Choekyi Nyima many times. At first, The PRC claimed that Gendhun was with His family in their home village. In March 1996, The PRC then reported that His Holiness The Panchen Lama was in their custody to protect Him from Tibetans. During the Summer of 1996, The PRC claimed that, as far as they knew, Gendhun Choekyi Nyima was back in the Tibetan community. During September 1998, The PRC once again claimed that The Panchen Lama was in their care to protect Him from Tibetans. In fact, on a trip to Tibet in September 1998, Mary Robinson (High Commissioner of Human Rights) of the United Nations was denied access to Gendhun Choekyi Nyima. On a nusmber of occasions in 2004, The PRC claimed that He was still under their protection and attending school in a small village. To date, no one has seen The Panchen Lama.
In December 1995, The PRC illegally announced its’ own Panchen Lama, Gyaltsen Norbu. The PRC has absolutely no authority to choose the next Panchen Lama. Only The Dalai Lama has the right to select The Panchen Lama. The PRC also has no legal justification to hold Gendhun Choekyi Nyima, His family, or members of the search party as hostages.
Why you should take action?
It is very critical for the survival of Tibet that the real Panchen Lama, Gendhun Choekyi Nyima, be released as well as others associated with His selection. We must all support His Holiness, The Dalai Lama’s selection of this important spiritual leader and fight for His security. If The PRC does not want to recognize Gendhun Choekyi Nyima, then they should release this young boy to the Tibetan community-in-exile, along with everyone else connected with His selection.
The 11th Panchen Lama must have the right to visit Tibetans-in-exile around the world, particularly His Holiness The Dalai Lama. Such actions will increase the possibility that all Tibetans will have the opportunity to communicate and be blessed by this highly important spiritual leader.