The Tibetan Parliament in exile based in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, made an urgent appeal on the 26th anniversary of the 11th Panchen Lama’s enforced disappearance, to inform the world of his whereabouts.
It has been 26 years without any news on the whereabouts of the 11th Panchen Lama, and the Tibetan Parliament in exile expressed grave concerns over this ongoing tragic situation.
The six-year-old 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nima was abducted by the Chinese government on May 17, 1995, following the announcement made by the Dalia Lama along with his parents and attendants.
Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was born on April 25, 1989, and was recognised as the 11th Panchen Lama on May 14, 1995, and named as Gedhun Yeshe Trinley Phuntsog Pel Sangpo by the Dalai Lama.
The statement by the Tibetan Parliament states, “throughout the disappearance of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the true reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama for over 26 years, numerous governments and parliaments as well as several human rights groups across the world took upon his case with an unbroken series of actions on his behalf. They published reports on him, made direct requests to the government of China, and took part in campaigns and other forms of activities on his behalf as and when they were carried out. While the participations are too numerous to be mentioned here, we wish to extend our gratitude to all those who participated in those movements.”
The Tibetan Parliament in exile reiterated and appealed to assist them in their efforts to get credible information that would indicate whether the 11th Panchen Lama is even alive today.
The appeal stated that this was an unprecedented historical event that deserved to be recorded in world history.
Tibetans around the world want China to clarify that Gyeltshen Norbu, appointed by the Communist government, is not the Panchen Lama recognised by the Dalai Lama.
Ever since the 11th Panchen Lama was abducted by the government of China, leaders of many countries from all parts of the world, including the United States of America, Germany, and the United Kingdom, have called upon the government of China to provide clear information on whether or not the 11th Panchen Lama is alive.
However, the response from the government of China has continued to be evasive at best. Likewise, successive meetings of the World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet and the parliaments of several countries of the world have passed resolutions, calling for the immediate release of the 11th Panchen Lama.
The appeal stated, “to all the people behind those governmental and non-governmental efforts, the Tibetan Parliament in exile wishes to express heartfelt gratitude on behalf of all the Tibetan people in and outside Tibet and urge them to continue to make the same demands.”
The Tibetan people want the 11th Panchen Lama to be freed from the oppression of the government of China, and to be able to usher him to the golden throne at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, the seat occupied by all the previous successive Panchen Lama reincarnations. “We appeal to you to be unrelenting in extending patronage to us in terms of helping us to realise this auspicious rise of the era of sunshine in our life at the earliest possible moment,” the appeal added.