Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Kidnapped at 6 years old, Panchen Lama STILL Being Held Prisoner by China



Tibet is at the TOP of my 'still to step on the soil of -- smell the air of -- feel the wind on my face of' country. It breaks my heart to know what the Chinese have done to the people and land of Tibet. I hope to get to Tibet this year before the Olympic fiasco ruins even more of Tibet.

And just to clear up a small fact, I am not 'against' most of the Chinese humans that walk the planet. But I am very much against the Chinese Government. Unfortunately, the average Chinese human being doesn't have much say in how the Chinese Government acts or thinks. At least without losing their life.

Panchen Lama STILL Prisoner of China



BEIJING, Apr 24 (AFP) - The Dalai Lama's choice as Tibet's second most important spiritual figure turned 18 on Wednesday after almost 13 years in Chinese custody amid signs of worsening repression there, a rights group said.
International Campaign for Tibet: The Panchen Lama

The Panchen Lama is considered one of Tibet's most important religious figures. Determined to control religion in Tibet, the Chinese authorities kidnapped Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and his family in 1995, just days after he was recognized by the Dalai Lama as the 11th Panchen Lama.

Despite repeated appeals to confirm his well-being, no international agency or human rights organization has been granted contact with Gedhun Choekyi Nyima or his family. To date, their well-being and whereabouts remains unconfirmed.

Suspicions that the Panchen Lama had been kidnapped by Chinese authorities were confirmed in 1996, when the Chinese government admitted to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child that it held the boy and his family in "protective custody."

Since then, there have been conflicting reports about the whereabouts of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and his parents, Dechen Choedron and Konchog Phuntsok. In 1999, rumors that the then-10-year-old boy had died in a prison in the western province of Gansu prompted Beijing to report that he was 'unharmed' and living with his family. Today, there are rumors that he is being kept in Beijing. There is concern that the Panchen Lama is being indoctrinated by Chinese officials, who will use him to support their policies in Tibet.

The Panchen Lama has now been missing for 12 years. The only known photo of him was taken in 1995 at the age of six. If still alive, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima will turn 18 years old on April 25, 2007. On this birthday, he will no longer be considered as a child under Chinese or international law. He should presumably have the right to speak on his own behalf.

China's Attempts to Control Tibetan Religion:
"According to Tibetan tradition, the confirmation of either the Dalai or the Panchen must be mutually recognized," the 10th Panchen Lama was quoted as saying by the official Chinese press.

Intent on curbing the influence of the Dalai Lama in Tibet and attempting to stablish their pre-eminence in all "internal affairs," political or otherwise, in November 1995 the atheistic Chinese government nominated and selected a different boy and proclaimed him to be the 11th Panchen Lama. China's chosen boy is overwhelmingly rejected by the Tibetan people. China increasingly uses this boy as a mouthpiece for its calculated policies in Tibet. Both teenagers are victims in China's plan to undermine and control the Tibetan people, religion and culture.

The Dalai Lama has said that he regards China's kidnapping of the Panchen Lama in 1995 as a dress rehearsal for what happens after he dies. However, the Dalai Lama has repeatedly said that he will be reincarnated in a democratic country. "I have made clear that the next Dalai Lama will be born in a free country. I think the Tibetans will accept that - they won't accept a boy chosen by the Chinese," the Dalai Lama said in 2003.
The Government of Tibet in Exile
International Campaign for Tibet
Tibet Canada

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