Tibetan NGOs demand China to provide evidence on the whereabouts of 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, on his 22nd birthday

Dharamsala 25 April: Today as we observe the 22nd birthday of the 11th Panchen Lama – Gedhun Choekyi Nyima – Tibetans, Tibet Supporters, and Buddhists all over the world are deeply concerned about his well-being. Since 1995, he has been missing with his family for 16 years after being recognized as the 11th Panchen Lama by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

In March 2010 Padma Choling (Pema Thinley), Chinese-appointed Governor of Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), told reporters that “Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and his family are now living a good life as ordinary citizens in Tibet.”1. Without evidence this statement is baseless unless the Chinese Government proves his existence.

“After 16 years, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima is still nowhere to be found. We are immensely concerned whether he is still alive or not,” said Chime Yungdung, President of National Democratic Party of Tibet. ”We demand the Chinese leaders to provide evidence of his whereabouts.”

A number of human rights mechanisms including the UN Committee Against Torture, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, as well as the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, have expressed their concerns on his disappearance.

“China has violated the The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance by abducting Gedhun Choekyi Nyima at the age of 6,” said Tenzin Choedon, National Director of Students for a Free Tibet, India. “We urge the International community to hold China accountable and pressurize them for the immediate release of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima.”

We, the undersigned 5 Tibetan NGOs will start collecting signature petitions beginning from today calling Zhu Weiqun, the Vice Minister of the United Front Works Department of the Chinese Communist Party, to disclose information on the Panchen Lama’s existence.

Organised by:

1. National Democratic Party of Tibet
2. Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet
3. Students for a Free Tibet – INDIA
4. Regional Tibetan Youth Congress
5. Regional Tibetan Women’s Association

Coordinated by:
International Tibet Network

1. Padma Choling, Chairman of the Tibet Autonomous Region: ‘Dalai-picked ‘Panchen’ Lives Normal Life’ (Xinhua) 2010-03-07 http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2010-03/07/content_9550348.htm

Note:
Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was born on April 25, 1989 in central Tibet. He disappeared on May 17, only few days after he was officially recognized in 1995 as the 11th Panchen Lama by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He and his family have not been seen for nearly 16 years to date.

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About INDIA: Stand Up for Tibet-Petition

Please sign this petition to strongly urge Shri S. M. Krishna, The Minister of External Affairs to make a strong and clear statement acknowledging the crackdown in Tibet, and to highlight the human rights violations being carried out in Tibet today. We will deliver this petition on October 2nd, 2012 - Gandhi Jayanti - a day that symbolizes our nation’s ability to reject colonial rule, to recognize freedom as our birthright, and to regain our independence. National wide Candle Light Vigil wil be organised by our Indian Members and supporters in all the Indian major cities that day. Tibet Needs You Now! Students for a Free Tibet, India (SFT India) is the India National Network of Students for a Free Tibet International, which has over 650 chapters in more than 35 countries. We are a Non-Profit Organization funded entirely by our members and supporters. Founded in the year 2000 from a very humble beginning as a loose network of few young activists and students based in Dharamshala campaigning for Tibet’s Independence, SFT India has grown as nation-wide network of youth, campaigning for the Fundamental Rights of the Tibetan people, and we are still growing. It is from our grassroots network that we gain our strength. To ensure the effectiveness of our grassroots network, we create awareness and sensitize the world on the just cause of Tibet. We believe that young people can and must take responsibility to change our world for the better.
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