fredag 30. april 2021

US Urges China to Reveal Whereabouts of Tibet’s ‘Disappeared’ Panchen Lama

China should disclose the whereabouts of Tibet’s Panchen Lama, who vanished into Chinese custody as a young boy 26 years ago, and let him meet outside observers in person, the U.S. State Department said in what Tibetans hailed as a strong show of support for their beleaguered traditions. Tibet’s Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, was recognized on May 14, 1995 at the age of six as the 11th Panchen Lama, the reincarnation of his predecessor, the 10th Panchen Lama, who died in 1989.

The recognition by exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama angered Chinese authorities, who three days later took the boy and his family into custody and then installed another boy, Gyaincain Norbu, as their own candidate in his place. State Department spokesperson Ned Price told a news briefing that on his 32nd birthday on Sunday, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima would be “forced to spend another year disappeared, separated from his community, and denied his rightful place as a prominent Tibetan Buddhist leader.”

“We call on the PRC Government to immediately make public the Tibetan-venerated Panchen Lama’s whereabouts and to give us this opportunity to meet with the Panchen Lama in person,” said the spokesman, who underscored U.S. support for Tibetans’ religious freedom and cultural identity.