lørdag 27. april 2024

Calls grow for proof of whereabouts of Tibet’s missing Panchen Lama

Global leaders joined Tibetans across the world this week to mark the 35th birthday of a revered Tibetan religious leader taken into custody 29 years ago and missing ever since. Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, then just six years old, was recognized by Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, as the 11th Panchen Lama, Tibet’s second most-senior Buddhist monk, in May 1995.

Shortly after the Dalai Lama’s announcement, Chinese authorities abducted the new Panchen Lama, his family and his teacher. His whereabouts remain unknown. If alive, he would have turned 35 on Thursday. At a commemoration event in Dharamsala, India, Sikyong Penpa Tsering, the democratically elected head of the Tibetan government-in-exile, reissued a long-standing plea for information about his fate. “Our most pressing concern is whether the Panchen Rinpoche is still alive or not,” Tsering said, using a name Tibetan Buddhists reserve for reincarnated lamas.