By Tenzin Dharpo
Tibetan leader Dalai Lama speaks to the press upon his arrival at Gaggal Airport, April 25, 2018.
DHARAMSHALA, April 25: On the 29th birthday of the Panchen Lama, considered the second most prominent spiritual figure in Tibetan Buddhism, Tibetan leader His Holiness made a revelation that the 11th Panchen Lama is “still alive” and “carrying out normal education”.
The Tibetan spiritual leader who has been held incommunicado for over two decades since 1995 is, according to reliable information, alive, the 82 year old Tibetan leader said today. The remark comes as a welcome development in the discourse of the Panchen Lama who has not been seen in public or whose whereabouts unknown since May 1995.
The Dalai Lama who reached Gaggal airport near Dharamshala today after his schedule in the Indian capital told the media, “Now it is quite controversial. One (Chinese) official Panchen Lama and then another Panchen Lama that I recognized according to our tradition. The Panchen Lama which I recognized, sometimes back no news…disappeared. But then according to reliable information, he is still alive and carrying out normal education.”
In a rare admission, a Chinese authority in 2015 said that the Panchen Lama recognized by the Dalai Lama is alive. On September 6, 2015, Norbu Dunzhub, a member of the Tibet Autonomous Region's United Front Work Department told reporters, “The reincarnated child Panchen Lama you mentioned is being educated, living a normal life, growing up healthily and does not wish to be disturbed."
The 11th Panchen Lama Gendun Choekyi Nyima was recognized as the reincarnation of his predecessor by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on May 14, 1995. Days later, the Dalai Lama endorsed candidate was abducted by China from his home and have never been seen since.
Gendun Choekyi Nyima is considered the true reincarnation of the 11th Panchen Lama as opposed to the Chinese appointed Gyaltsen Norbu who currently holds the mandate of only the Chinese Communist Party, of which he is a member.