Speaker of Tibetan Parliament’s Open Letter to China’s President Hu Jintao
Monday, 27 April 2009, 2:22 p.m.
|An image of Gendun Choekyi Nyima, seen in a monastery in eastern Tibet near a photograph of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.(Photo: ICT)|
Dharamshala: In an open letter to China’s President Hu Jintao, the
Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile Penpa Tsering has expressed
the Tibetan people’s deep concern over the whereabouts of the 11th
Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima.
In his letter dated 27 April, Speaker Penpa Tsering said: “According to
media reports, a Japanese journalist Yoichi Shimatsu had at a
conference at Qinghua University in Beijing stated that His Eminence
Panchen Rinpoche Gedhun Choekyi Nyima had died of cancer some years
ago, which is in total contradiction to your government’s stated
position that all is well with H.E. Panchen Rinpoche.”
“All the Tibetans are deeply concerned and worried about the statement
if it is true. Therefore we call on you to make it clear to the whole
world whether H.E. Panchen Rinpoche is still alive or not and if H.E.
Panchen Rinpoche is alive, details of his well being and whereabouts
should be made public. We also urge you to reinstate H.E. Panchen
Rinpoche Gedhun Choekyi Nyima to his rightful position,” Speaker Penpa
Tibetans in exile across the world yesterday marked the 20th birthday of the 11th Panchen Lama. They offered long life prayers and called on the Chinese government to release the Panchen Lama.
Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and his parents
disappeared a day after His Holiness the Dalai Lama recognised him as
the 11th Panchen Lama on 14 May 1995. Despite repeated appeals, no
international agency or human rights organisation has been granted
access to the boy or his family to verify his well-being.