Joined: 08 Oct 2009
|Posted: Sat 25 Apr - 16:52 (2015) Post subject: Tibetans celebrate 26th birthday of Panchen Lama, call for his release
Tibetans and supporters today celebrated the 26th birthday of the 11th Panchen Lama Gedun Choekyi Nyima with appeals for his immediate release at a public event at the TCV day-school here
The event began with a short act wherein a monk wearing a mask of 11th Panchen Lama cut the huge birthday cake after being released from behind bars by two children. The organizers described the act as a future vision of the Tibetans.
Tibetans offered Tibetan ceremonial scarves (khatak) on the picture of the Panchen Lama. The cake-cutting ceremony was followed by a series of games including Tug-of-War and momo (Tibetan delicacy) eating competition.
The event was jointly organized by Dharamshala regional chapters of Tibetan Youth Congress, Tibetan Women’s Association and Students for a Free Tibet, India.
“Kidnapped at the age of 6, Gedun Choekyi Nyima is considered the world’s youngest political prisoner. 17th May 2015 will mark 20 years since his enforced disappearance,” said Nyima Yangtso, Vice-President of Regional Tibetan Youth Congress. “Through this event, we call on the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances, Human Rights organizations and world governments to inquire about his wellbeing and to pressure the Chinese governments for his immediate release.”
The 11th Panchen Lama, Gedun Choekyi Nyima, was only six years old when the Chinese government abducted the young lama in 1995. Even after 20 years in custody, the Chinese authorities have not provided any verifiable information or proof of the physical and mental well being of the 11th Panchen Lama.
The young Lama went missing after the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama recognized him as the reincarnation of the tenth Panchen Lama on May 14, 1989.
The 10th Panchen Lama was only 52 when he passed away under mysterious circumstances after delivering a public speech in which he was sharply and openly critical of the Chinese government's policies.
“By celebrating the Panchen Lama’s birthday, we want to show the Chinese government that they do not have the right to control the reincarnation of Tibetan Lamas,” said Dorjee Tseten, Asia Director of Students for a Free Tibet. “Tibetans will continue to work for his release. No matter how long it takes, he will always remain in the hearts of Tibetan people.”
Earlier this week, the Tibetan government in exile announced its decision to observe International Solidarity Day with Tibet on May 17, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the disappearance of the Panchen Lama and his family.
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