By Tenzin Dharpo
11th Panchen Lama Gedun Choekyi Nyima.
DHARAMSHALA, Nov. 22: The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) earlier this week said that the response given by China on the 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was “not considered sufficient”. The ranking Tibetan lama who disappeared along with his family in 1995 following China’s abduction, is one of the most high profile cases of disappearance related to Tibetans inside occupied Tibet.
The WGEID during its 119th session held in September demanded China provide explanation on the whereabouts and the conditions of the missing religious figure. However, China’s response was no different from its earlier claim that he had received education and did not wish to be disturbed. Chinese authorities added that “he went to university”, and “currently he has found a job”.
The response did not provide any revelation as to where he and his family are and whether they are healthy or not. The UN body said that the matter “will remain under the consideration”, in a statement dated November 18, 2019.
In September 2015, after years of silence, China admitted to having knowledge of the 11th Panchen Lama who was recognised by the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama. 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 reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama who died under mysterious circumstances, Gendun Choekyi Nyima, was recognized by the Dalai Lama on May 14, 1995. The Chinese government installed another boy, Gyaltsen Norbu, as the Panchen Lama although he is considered a mere figure head and a ‘Fake Panchen lama’ by the Tibetan Buddhists.
Earlier this year in April on the 30th birthday of Gendun Choekyi Nyima, forensic artist Tim Widden created a rendition of the Panchen Lama image, invoking sentiments from Tibetans and global supporters of the beloved religious figure. The Tibetan lama abducted at the age of 6 has disappeared from public knowledge fro over 25 years.