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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Tibetan exiles protest against Panchen Lamas detention

May 19, 2009

Litle About
May 17, 2009

New Delhi, May 17 (ANI) -- The Regional Tibetan
Women Association (RTWA) organised a peaceful
protest march here on Sunday for the detention of
eleventh Panchen Lama, who they allege has been held captive by China.

The eleventh Panchen Lama, also known as Gedhun
Choekyi Nyima, is said to be under detention for the past 13 years.

Holding banners and raising slogans against the
Chinese government, the protestors asked China to
furnish verifiable information about the young Panchen Lama.

We appeal to the United Nations (UN) and the
World Human Right Organisation (WHRO) to
pressurise the Chinese leaders to confirm the
whereabouts of eleventh Panchen Lama. We also
appeal to our international supporters, peace
loving countries, NGOs and individuals to take up
our cause at all levels to ensure early
restoration of human rights in Tibet, said Rinzing Ongmu, RTWA President.

Born on April 25, 1989, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was
named by the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai
Lama as the eleventh Panchen Lama on 14 May, 1995, when he was aged six years.

However, three days later, on May 17, he and his
parents were reportedly missing.

On May, 15, 1996, the Chinese government admitted
to holding the eleventh Panchen Lama and his
parents in their 'protective custody'.

Over the years, China has provided conflicting
reports about the whereabouts and well being of
the Panchen Lama, ranging from rumours of his
death towards the late 1999 to a set of photos
that Chinese officials displayed briefly, but did
not hand over to European human rights activists.

Reportedly, the photos showed the young Gedhun
Choekyi Nyima playing table-tennis and writing
Chinese characters on a blackboard.

In 2001, the International Campaign for Tibet
obtained a new photo purporting to be of
12-year-old Gedhun Choekyi Nyima. However,
nothing is known of the authenticity of the photograph.

Lately, China claimed that the Panchen Lama is
attending school and leading a normal life
somewhere in China, and that his whereabouts are
kept undisclosed to protect him, but all requests
for access to Gedhun Choekyi Nyima have been repeatedly refused so far.

Tibetan Government-in-exile based at Dharamsala
in India claims that the young Panchen Lama and
his family continue to be political prisoners,
and have called him the 'youngest political
prisoner in the world' while a few others have
named him as 'The Stolen Child of Tibet'. - ANI
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