Dharamsala: On the 23rd birthday of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the 11th Panchen Lama, major Tibetan NGOs in India will conduct a day long petition drive urging people to call Chinese embassies seeking information on his whereabouts.
This year marks his 17th year of abduction by the Chinese Government after being recognized “Gedhun Choekyi Nyima’s abduction is not only a violation of Tibet’s religious freedom and it is also a human rights violation,” said Tashi Dolma, the newly elected President of Tibetan Women’s Association.
“There was a report sometime back that the 11th Panchen Lama had died long ago. Such a report gives us reason to be concerned. Considering the possibility, as many people believe, that the Chinese government was involved in the untimely death of the 10th Panchen Lama”, said Lukar Jam, ice President of Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet.
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). Yet to this day no evidence has been presented by the Chinese government to substantiate this statement.
“China has violated The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance by abducting Gedhun Choekyi Nyima.” said Dorjee Tseten, National Director of Students for a Free Tibet, India. “International community must hold China accountable for the abduction of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima,”
Despite numerous requests by foreign diplomats and United Nations representatives for verification of his well-being and whereabouts, to this day, no tangible evidence have been provided on Gedhun Choekyi Nyima or his family by the Chinese Government. Tibetans and supporters everywhere in the world are organizing campaigns calling for his whereabouts and immediate release.
As his 23rd birthday falls on Wednesday, a special event has been planned for the evening to highlight the growing Lhakar(2) movement in Tibet. A presentation of contributions made by the 10th Panchen Lama towards Tibetan Culture & Identity, poetry reading, art work and songs dedicated to the Panchen Lama are planned.
1.Tibetan Women’s Association
2.Gu-Chu-Sum Movement of Tibet
3. Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, Dharamsala
4.Student’s for a Free Tibet, INDIA
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
2. Lhakar is a home-grown, Tibetan self-reliance movement that started after in the aftermath of the 2008 uprising. “Lhakar” translates literally as “White Wednesday,” as Wednesday is considered special by Tibetans because it is the Dalai Lama’s soul day. Every Wednesday, a growing number of Tibetans are making special effort to wear traditional clothes, speak Tibetan, eat in Tibetan restaurants and buy from Tibetan-owned businesses. They channel their spirit of resistance into social, cultural and economic activities that are self-constructive (promoting Tibetan language, culture and identity) and non-cooperative (refusing to support Chinese institutions and businesses).
In recent years since 2008, Tibetans in Tibet and in exile have taken diverse Lhakar Pledges, resolving to boycott Made-in-China products, or to go vegetarian every Wednesday, to speak pure Tibetan, or to read a Tibetan newspaper once a week, or to wear chuba every Wednesday, etc. Through these pledges and actions, Tibetans are coming together in the greatest noncooperation movement Tibet has ever seen.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 17 years to date.