Published By Jamphel Shonu

Dharamshala: On the occasion of the 23rd anniversary of the enforced disappearance of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the 11th Panchen Lama of Tibet, the Department of Information and International Relations is releasing a 3-min video titled “Missing Panchen Lama in the International Eye“. The video highlights some of the most prominent expressions of concern by the international community over the case of Tibet’s missing Panchen Lama .

Referring to the concern expressed by the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearance in 2011, the Secretary of Working Group has mentioned that the Chinese government’s response to the communication over the well-being of Panchen Lama was “not considered sufficient” to verify the “fate or whereabouts” of Panchen Gedhun Choekyi Nyima. Therefore, Panchen Gedhun Choekyi Nyima’s case – case no-22868 – continues to remain under the consideration of the Working Group to this day.

The United States has called on China to release the Panchen Lama from “detention” and allow him to assume “his traditional role at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Tibet”. In its 2013 annual report, the United States’ Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) listed Gedhun Choekyi Nyima under individuals detained on account of religious belief.

Expressing its “grave concern” over the “abduction” of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the European Parliament, on numerous occasions, condemned China’s “intervention” in the recognition of Tibet’s Panchen Lama.

In a resolution passed by the German Bundestag, the German parliamentarians highlighted the “kidnapping of the boy” as an example of “obstruction of the religious life of the Tibetans”.

The Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs called China to “allow United Nations’ High Commissioner and the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief to visit Gedhun Choekyi Nyima”. Likewise, during a round of the UK-China bilateral human rights dialogue in London, British officials pressed China to “allow access” to Panchen Lama “by an independent figure” to verify the health and living conditions of Panchen Gedhun Chokeyi Nyima.

Reportedly, in August 2001, the delegation from Poland was promised photos of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima within six weeks, unsurprisingly, the delegates never received them.

Australian senators have expressed their dismay over China’s “attempts of further erosion of the International principle of freedom of religion”. The senators called on China to “respect the wishes of the Tibetan people by supporting the Panchen Lama as recognized by the Dalai Lama”.

A number of international human rights groups have called for the well-being and whereabouts of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima to be made public, but to no avail.

Earlier this month, when Chinese-appointed delegations from so-called Tibet Autonomous Region appeared before the Canadian parliament’s Foreign Affairs’ committee, the Chinese picked delegation was asked about the status of Panchen Gedhun Choekyi Nyima. The delegate, yet again, failed to give concrete verifiable information about Panchen Lama.

 – Report filed by UN, Human Rights Desk, DIIR –

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