Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh: 33rd Birthday of 11th Pancham Lama celebrated by Tibetan students in Dharamshala, India for the free Tibet-India from China.
Tibetan activists gathered at the main square of Mcleodganj on Monday and cut the birthday cake of the 11th Panchen Lama here. They urged China to release him and disclose his whereabouts.
The Panchen Lama is the highest spiritual leader after the Dalai Lama.
Shortly after the Dalai Lama recognized Gedhun Choekyi Nyima as the 11th Panchen Lama in 1995, the six years old boy and his family disappeared. The Chinese government installed Gyaincain Norbu in his place.
Despite 27 years of Chinese pressure to accept the Panchen Lama appointed by them, Tibetans still consider Gedhun Choekyi Nyima to be the true Panchen Lama and continue to call for his return to his rightful seat in Tashihunpo Monastery.
“The only wish I have is that we can celebrate his birthday in his presence. I have been wishing for it for a long time since my college days when we used to celebrate it in our college and I hope this wish come true,” Tenzin Pasang, a Tibetan activist said.
Pasang further said, “China is lying about his abduction since he was 6 years old so it’s on China because they are the ones who have abducted Panchen Lama. We just ask and demand China to release Panchen Lama soon and to release all other political prisoners…”
Tenzin Lekden, campaign coordinator of SFT said, “It is the 33rd birth anniversary of 11th Panchen Lama and we are celebrating his birthday in his absence in the seat of His Holiness at Dalai Lama in exile in Dharamshala.”
Lekden continued saying, “…China has abducted 6 years old child forcefully from his home and now we can’t see him, we don’t hear about him and its been 27 years of his disappearance. China should stop these atrocities now because through the case of Panchen Lama we want to highlight the cases of thousands of political prisoners who have been forcefully abducted and forcefully captured and tortured in Chinese prisons.”
Chinese troops occupied Tibet in 1950 and later annexed it. The 1959 Tibetan uprising saw violent clashes between Tibetan residents and Chinese forces.