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    » 04/25/2008, 00.00

    INDIA - TIBET - CHINA

    The Panchen Lama turns 19; 13 years spent as prisoner of Beijing

    Nirmala Carvalho

    He was abducted in 1995, when he was 6 years old, and since then there has been no news of him. The requests of the UN are futile. Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama offers to help "calm" the situation in Tibet, but China "gives no concrete answer".

    New Delhi (AsiaNews) - Today is the 19th birthday of the 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, who "disappeared" in 1995.  Tibetans in exile are asking Beijing for his immediate release, and that of Tibetan political prisoners.  Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama is asking to be allowed to send his emissaries to calm the tensions.

    After the death of the Dalai Lama, it is the responsibility of the Panchen Lama to recognise his new reincarnation.  The Dalai Lama acknowledged Gedhun as Panchen Lama on May  14, 1995.  A few days later, the police abducted the six-year-old boy and his family, who have not been seen since then, in spite of repeated requests from the United Nations and international organisations to at least be able to meet with them.  In November of 1995, China "selected" a different Panchen Lama of its own.

    For the occasion, the Tibetan Solidarity Committee has organised a painting competition for Tibetan children and a concert by the band Parikrama.  Also today, a collection of signatures begins to ask the Indian government for greater support for Tibet, and another for the liberation of the Panchen Lama.

    Tibetan exiles accuse China of causing, in the recent repression, at least 154 deaths (against approximately 20 admitted by Beijing) and of wounding more than 500 people, in addition to the thousands who have been arrested.  They are asking for the immediate release of these, and of the 119 Tibetan political prisoners already in prison.

    Meanwhile, it has become known that on April 19, the Dalai Lama wrote to Chinese president Hu Jintao, offering to send emissaries to Tibet to help calm tensions, after the intervention of the army.  But Beijing's response "was nothing concrete, just rhetoric", says Dalai Lama spokesman Lodi Gyari.

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    See also

    30/03/2009 CHINA - TIBET
    No Dalai Lama at the Second World Buddhist Forum
    Beijing is not inviting the Dalai Lama, because he is "a political leader." Great spectacle and pomp, but the delegates complain of the purely political significance, and the lack of genuine exploration. Meanwhile, Tibet will reopen to tourists in April.

    04/04/2008 NEPAL - TIBET - CHINA
    Tibetans in Nepal: no more demonstrations, too many threats from the government
    Officially, the Tibetan exiles in Kathmandu are interrupting the anti-Chinese protests out of respect for the upcoming government elections. In reality, the government has warned them: those who continue to demonstrate will be imprisoned indefinitely.

    17/03/2009 CHINA - TIBET
    If there really is peace in Tibet, Beijing should free the true Panchen Lama
    For 14 years, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the 11th Panchen Lama recognized by the Dalai Lama, has been sequestered together with his family. Beijing continues to say that he is "doing well," and that there is religious freedom in Tibet: the liberation of the true Panchen Lama could be the only credible sign of this.

    25/04/2009 TIBET - CHINA - INDIA
    Panchen Lama turns 20. For 14 years, he has been a hostage of the Chinese government
    Tibetans are celebrating the birthday according to Buddhist tradition, praying for his "safety" and wishing him "long life." A minister of the Tibetan government in exile denounces the "violation of religious freedom" by the Beijing authorities. A question that concerns "the entire international community."

    24/02/2009 TIBET - CHINA - INDIA
    Dharamshala, more than 500 Tibetans protest against Chinese repression
    The demonstrators are calling for an end to the "killings," and are reiterating their intention to "not celebrate the Tibetan new year." Beijing continues its repression in the region in view of the 50th anniversary of the anti-Chinese revolt. Women's rights activists denounce forced abortion and discrimination.



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