Paonta Sahib: The members of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress and Regional Tibetan Women Association’s of Paonta Sahib and Puruwala on Monday jointly organized peaceful Silence protest march here at Paonta Sahib with around 200 people’s asking the Chinese communist regime to release Gendhun Choekyi Nyima, the boy recognized by the Dalai Lama as the 11th Panchen Lama in 1995, from its captivity.
Monday marked 16 years since the Chinese authorities secretly abducted Gendhun Choekyi Nyima along with his parents on May 17, 1995, three days after His Holiness the Dalai Lama declared him to be the reincarnation of the previous Panchen Lama. He was only six years old then.
Gendhun Choekyi Nyima turned 22, but his whereabouts and safety has been unknown since he first disappeared out of public view.
Chinese Government claims that his whereabouts are kept undisclosed to protect him, but all requests for access to him, including requests and pressure from various governments and rights, have been repeatedly refused so far.
In a statement released here today, Regional Tibetan Youth Congress and Regional Tibetan Women Association of Paonta Sahib and Puruwala said it was high time for China to show the 11th Panchen Lama to the international community to confirm his wellbeing, and that he be allowed to resume his spiritual role to maintain the unbroken lineage of the successive Panchen Lamas.
Accusing the Chinese government of interfering in the religious affairs of the Tibetan people for its own “political benefits”, the statement urged the international community to exert pressure on Beijing to secure the immediate release of the Panchen Lama, his family and others associated with the finding of the Panchen Lama.
Panchen Lama is revered by Tibetans as the second highest tulku lineage in the Gelugpa tradition of Tibetan Buddhism and one of the most influential spiritual leaders of Tibet.
Traditionally, the Panchen Lama bears part of the responsibility for finding the incarnation of the Dalai Lama and vice versa, a practice many say has prompted China to install another boy, Gyaltsen Norbu, as the Panchen Lama.
Gyaltsen, who is generally not recognised by Tibetans, is being used by Beijing to supplant the Dalai Lama as the public face of Tibetan Buddhism in Tibet and elsewhere in China. In recent years he has taken on an increasingly political role and was recently appointed to China’s top government advisory body.