Tibetan NGOs call for 11th Panchen Lama's release on his 28th birthday
[Tuesday, April 25, 2017 19:20]
By Tenzin Monlam
Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
DHARAMSHALA, April 25: Calling on the world leaders to put pressure on China for the release of the Panchen Lama recognized by the Dalai Lama, three Tibetan NGOs jointly commemorated the 28th birthday of the Panchen Gendhun Choekyi Nyima in Dharamshala today.
As another birth anniversary of the abducted lama passes by without any concrete information, the regional Tibetan Youth Congress (RTYC), Regional Tibetan Women’s Association (RTWA) and Student for a Free Tibet (India) organized an awareness campaign to ‘highlight his case of enforced disappearance’ and also carried out a signature petition demanding his ‘whereabouts and release’ at the main square of Mcleod Ganj.
Urging the world leaders to put pressure on Beijing for his release, Wangden Kyap, President of RTYC said, “Beijing has kept Panchen Lama away from Tibetan people and the world for more than 20 years but we have not forgotten him.”
Phayul Photo: Kunsang Gashon
Tibetan Women’s Association also organized a special panel discussion at Hotel Tibet in Dharamshala with former political prisoner Ven Bhagdo and Tibetan Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) Director, Tsering Tsomo as panelists to speak on the works carried out by the 10th Panchen Lama and the enforced disappearance of the 11th Panchen Lama respectively.
“Despite severe political clampdown, credit of survival of Tibetan culture, religion and language in Tibet goes to the 10th Panchen Lama, who tirelessly worked towards the preservation of the Tibetan identity,” said Ven Bhagdo.
Criticizing the unethical and unlawful arrest of the 11th Panchen Lama, TCHRD Director Tsering Tsomo said that the Chinese government is answerable to all the abuse of power for his arrest and incarceration without trial.
Acknowledging the the 10th Panchen Lama’s accomplishments, she said, “The enforced disappearance of Gendun Choekyi Nyima boils down to three present situations inside Tibet. It shows the oppression and lack of freedom of religion in Tibet, and secondly it shows China’s practice of the political interference in reincarnation of high lamas. Lastly, through human rights perspective, it proves the illegal nature of the case.”
The last information on the missing lama was a statement of Norbu Dhondup, an official from the United Front Work Department of Tibet Autonomous Region on September 6, 2015. He had said that he (Panchen Lama) was being educated, living a normal life, growing up healthily and does not wish to be disturbed.
Known as the youngest political prisoner in the world, the rights group on today’s occasion also published a special report ‘Prisoner of Conscience in Tibet’ on Tibetan political prisoners.
“This report focuses on the mistreatment of political prisoners in Tibet. The PRC maintains that they have not taken any political prisoners, but that they are solely arresting criminals. TCHRD rejects the label of criminals to define the Tibetan imprisoned for exercising their conscience,” it said.
The Tibetan government in exile launched a video on the occasion of the Panchen Lama's birthday, featuring messages from political personalities from six different countries.