Tibetan govt-in-exile asks China to release Panchen Lama

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and Central Tibetan Administration President Lobsang Sangay (File)

Dharamsala, (Asian independent) Tibetan authorities here on Sunday asked China to honour its claim of ethnic harmony and fulfill the aspiration of the Tibetan people by releasing the 11th Panchen Lama along with his family.

“Today marks the 25th anniversary of the 11th Panchen Lama’s disappearance,” the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) said in a statement.

“Twenty-five years is a significant time in an individual’s life. For a person to spend the prime of his life or quarter of a century in enforced captivity is an irreparable loss.

“The disappearance of the Panchen Lama is not only an injustice to one person, but it is an injustice to six million Tibetans and their right to religious freedom,” it said.

China must honour its claim of ethnic harmony in China by fulfilling the aspiration of the Tibetan people. It must right the wrong and release the 11th Panchen Lama along with his family, Chadrel Rinpoche, and all Tibetans unjustly imprisoned.

Taking this opportunity, the CTA thanked all nations and their Parliaments founded on the principles of freedom and justice, international human rights organisations and individuals for their continued support.

“We appeal to the international community to make a concerted effort to press China to release Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and resolve the critical human rights situation in Tibet,” the CTA led by President Lobsang Sangay said.

“We proudly acknowledge and thank the Tibetan non-governmental organisations and the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery for continuingly undertaking various initiatives to ensure the release of the 11th Panchen Lama,” it said.

“Finally, we pray and hope that His Eminence the 11th Panchen Lama will soon be able to return to his rightful place at Tashi Lhunpo monastery in Shigatse. We pray that under the auspicious presence of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and His Eminence the 11th Panchen Lama, peace will shine soon over Tibet,” it added.

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama recognized Nyima on May 14, 1995, as the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama. Within three days of the announcement, he was abducted making him one of the youngest political prisoners in the world.

The Dalai Lama has been living in India since fleeing his homeland in 1959. The Tibetan government-in-exile is based in this northern hill town of Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh.

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