Home Asean News Tibetans Mark 35th Birthday Of Abducted Panchen Lama, Demand Blinken Intervene

Tibetans Mark 35th Birthday Of Abducted Panchen Lama, Demand Blinken Intervene

Panchen Lama Dalai Lama

Today marks the 35th birthday of the 11th Panchen Lama and 2025 will mark 30 years since the Chinese disappeared him from public sight at the age of six. Why would the Chinese feel so threatened by a six year old boy monk? The fact is Gendun Choekyi Nyima had been recognised by the Dalai Lama as the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama in May 1995. This was not to China’s liking since, in their view, the Chinese state alone had the prerogative to decide the succession in the Tibetan faith. So they ensured the boy monk was never heard of again and till today, it’s not known where he is, or what his condition is.

The Chinese then proceeded to install another monk as the Panchen Lama, who is not recognised by the Dalai Lama and has no credibility whatsoever. Tibetans are demanding that China set the real Panchen Lama free and with US Secretary of State Blinken now in Shanghai, the Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamshala published an article titled “Blinken must raise Tibet, Panchen Lama on China trip”.

It highlights a letter sent by the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT), an organisation advocating for Tibetan human rights and democratic freedoms, to Antony Blinken on behalf of its 50,000 U.S. members. ICT President Tencho Gyatso has called on him to address the Tibetan issue with Chinese leaders and to speak on it publicly.

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The Tashi Lumpo Monastery in Karnataka, which is the spiritual and cultural seat of the Panchen Lama in exile, in a statement said “The enforced disappearance of the 11th Panchen Lama is a serious human rights issue that violates the basic dignity and rights of the Tibetan people and the freedom to practice their religious and cultural identity.

The Communist Party of China continues to meddle and withhold information in the matter of the Panchen Lama.” All that the Chinese have said so far is a statement issued in April 2022 by the foreign ministry which said that the boy “Recieved free and compulsory education when he was a child , passed the college entrance exam and now has a job.” It claimed that neither Gendun nor his family wished to be disturbed “in their current normal lives.”