Tibetans demand release of 11th Panchen Lama

April 24th, 2008 - 5:22 pm ICT by admin  

London, Apr.24 (ANI): On the occasion of the 19th birth anniversary of the Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, which falls on Friday (April 25), Tibetans from all walks of life have urged the Chinese government to free the Panchen Lama and all political prisoners imprisoned in Tibet immediately and unconditionally.
In a statement issued on Thursday, they said that the Dalai Lama had recognized Gedhun Choekyi Nyima as the 11thPanchen Lama on May 14, 1995, and within days of the announcement, Chinese police had taken the six-year-old child and his family from their home and done the disappearing act with them.
They said that till date, their whereabouts and well-being are unknown.
Despite repeated attempts, no international human rights organizations, not even the United Nations have been allowed access to the Panchen Lama or his family members. Instead, China has played reincarnation politics by nominating and selecting their own Panchen Lama in November 1995. Behind this and various other recent Chinese promulgated policies on reincarnation and religion lies their agenda to undermine and control the Tibetan people, their religion, and their nation, the statement said.
The statement further went onto say that the ongoing Chinese crackdown has resulted in 154 reported deaths, over 500 injured and many thousands arrested.
To mark the day, the Tibetan Solidarity Committee-Delhi chapter will organize a special event. Among other activities, there will be a Tibetan children’s painting competition and a host of guest speakers will address the public.
Well-known Indian band Parikrama will perform a few acoustic numbers in solidarity with the Tibetan struggle in the evening of the same day.
Indian supporters of the Tibetan cause will launch a signature campaign to pressure the Indian government to take a stronger stand on the Tibetan issue. Another international student’s group will be taking out a free the Panchen Lama petition campaign.(ANI)

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