Tibetan Exile Leaders, World Lawmakers Call on China to Free Panchen Lama

Sandra Loyd

Tibet’s India-based exile federal government and fans in the United States called on Beijing on Monday to free Tibet’s second- best-known spiritual leader the Panchen Lama, who vanished as a young young boy into Chinese custody on 25 years back on Might 17 and is thought to be suffering under house arrest in a concealed area.

The Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, was acknowledged on Might 14, 1995 at the age of 6 as the 11 th Panchen Lama, the reincarnation of his predecessor, the 10 th Panchen Lama.

The acknowledgment by the Dalai Lama outraged Chinese authorities, who 3 days later on took the young boy and his family into custody and after that set up another young boy, Gyaincain Norbu, as their own prospect in his location.

Tibetan custom holds that senior Buddhist monks are reincarnated in the body of a kid after they pass away.

The location of the Dalai Lama’s option of Panchen Lama stay unidentified and he has actually not been seen in public because his disappearance.

The Panchen Lama set up by Beijing on the other hand stays out of favor with Tibetans both in exile and at home.

Speaking on Sunday in a video conference hosted by Tibet’s exile federal government, the Central Tibetan Administration, in Dharamsala, India, CTA President Lobsang Sangay stated China has actually stopped working in what he called Beijing’s “politically driven effort to undermine and control Tibetan Buddhism.”

“For Tibetans in Tibet and in exile, and for Tibetan Buddhist followers around the world, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the six-year-old boy recognized by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, will always be the true Panchen Lama,” Sangay stated.

The Panchen Lama’s continued disappearance in Chinese custody represents an oppression not just to himself however to the Tibetan people and their right to spiritual flexibility, Sangay added.

International assistance

Likewise speaking by means of video link on Sunday, Zeekyab Rinpoche– abbot of the Indian exile branch of the Panchen Lama’s historical Tashilhunpo abbey in Tibet– thanked international human rights groups, U.S. members of Congress, and parliamentarians throughout Europe for their aid in pushing China for responses on the Panchen Lama’s location.

“I take this opportunity to deeply thank all of you for your unwavering support for the immediate release of the 11th Panchen Lama. And I urge you to continue your support until the issue is resolved,” he stated.

In a Might 17 declaration, U.S. Congressman James McGovern and Senator Marco Rubio, chair and cochair of the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China, called on China to right away free the Panchen Lama and his family, calling them “among the world’s longest detained prisoners of conscience.”

” We require their genuine and instant release and stay deeply worried about official constraints on the practice of Tibetan Buddhism [in Tibet and Tibetan regions of China],” the 2 U.S. lawmakers stated.

The world still has no concept of the Panchen Lama’s location, U.S. Ambassador at Big for International Spiritual Liberties Sam Brownback stated in a May 14 teleconference.

“And this takes on, I think, an increased interest and focus and importance as the Chinese Communist Party continues to assert their right to appoint the next Dalai Lama – which they do not have the right to do.”

“Tibetan Buddhists, like members of all faith communities, must be able to select, educate, and venerate their religious leaders according to their traditions and without government interference,” U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo kept in mind in a Might 18 declaration.

” We call on the [People’s Republic of China] federal government to right away make public the Panchen Lama’s location and to support its own constitution and international dedications to promote spiritual flexibility for all individuals,” Pompeo stated, calling the Panchen Lama second in spiritual authority just to the Dalai Lama.

Significant point of friction

The present, 14 th, Dalai Lama left to India in 1959 following a Chinese crackdown on an uprising in the previously independent Tibet. India approved him political asylum and the Tibetan government-in-exile has actually been based in Dharamsala since.

The concern of the follower to the Dalai Lama is a significant point of friction in between Beijing, which firmly insists on its right to pick the next top Tibetan spiritual leader, and Tibetans inside their homeland and around the globe.

Chinese authorities on the other hand preserve a tight grip on the Tibetan area, limiting Tibetans’ political activities and serene expression of spiritual and ethnic identity, and subjecting Tibetans to persecution, abuse, jail time, and extrajudicial killings.

Reported by RFA’s Tibetan Service. Composed in English by Richard Finney.

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