Central and Regional Tibetan Women's Association in Dharamshala held a one-day hunger strike to commemorate the 27-year disappearance of the 11th Panchen Lama on May 17, 2022. Photo: TPI

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Dharamshala — The Central and Regional Tibetan Women's Association in Dharamshala held a one-day hunger strike to commemorate the 27-year disappearance of the 11th Panchen Lama and called on the Chinese government to immediately release Gendun Choekyi Nyima, the 11th Panchen Lama, his family, and his teacher.

On May 17, 2022, the Central and Regional Tibetan Women's Association (TWA) in Dharamshala, held a one-day hunger strike to commemorate the 27th anniversary of the forced abduction of the 11th Panchen Lama, his family, and his teacher Chardrel Rinpoche by the Chinese government in 1995.

“On May 17, 2022 marks 27 years of the enforced disappearance of His Holiness The 11' Panchen Lama Gendun Choekyi Nyima along with his family, Chadrel Rinpoche, the former abbot of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery and head of the search committee of the 10th Panchen Lama and Jangpa Chungla by the Chinese government. Since 1995, Tibetan Women's Association commemorates the forced abduction of Gendun Choekyi Nyima,” said a statement of TWA.

“Three days after his recognition as Panchen Lama by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Chinese authorities kidnapped then six years old Gendun Choekyi Nyima and condemned, insulted, and disregarded Buddhism,” they added.

“The forcible disappearance of the 11th Panchen Lama and his family by the Chinese communist party has become a global issue. UN working group on enforced or involuntary disappearances expressed concerns about the whereabouts of the Panchen Lama and urged the government of China to provide information since then, a number of human rights, organisations, governmental and non-governmental and the UN committee against torture have all urged to the Chinese Government for the Panchen Lama whereabouts to be known,” the activists said.

“In the Chinese constitution, people who are 18 and above are considered as an adult and have the right to speech, right to express and right to freedom, so as the Panchen Lama who is now a 33 years old adult should have the equal rights mentioned above. The higher authorities from different countries have visited China and tried getting a glimpse of the 11th Panchen Lama but they could not. Hence this was considered as an insult to the higher officials,” it stated.

“We do not accept China adapting various ways to destroy Buddhism and the identity of Tibetans. China has been meting out inhuman atrocities on Tibetans for the past many decades and as a result, more than 159 Tibetan people have self-immolated their precious life to let the people of the world know about the human rights violations happening inside Tibet. We want China to stop this evil policy and inhuman activities to the Tibetan people living inside Tibet,” TWA explained.

“We express our gratitude to all the International Organisations, Tibet Support Groups, and everyone for their continued support and efforts to seek justice for and release of Gendun Choekyi Nyima,” they said.

TWA request United Nations, UN working committee on Human Rights Violation, members of the Parliament, International leaders, UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, and International Tibet Support Groups for their continued support on the fulfillment of the following demands:

1. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has proposed the Middle-Way Approach to peacefully resolve the issue of Tibet and to bring about stability and co-existence between the Tibetan and Chinese people. Therefore, we urge a peaceful dialogue between Mr. Xi Jinping and the representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the Tibet issue

2. We want the Chinese government and authorities to immediately release Gendun Choekyi Nyima, the 11th Panchen Lama ( the second most important figure in Tibetan Buddhism ), his family, Chadrel Rinpoche and Jangpa Chung la, and the innocent prisoners

3. Mrs Michelle Bachelet who has served as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights announced that she could visit the countries that are occupied by China. We deeply request her to go to Tibet and look at the situation of the Tibetan people and the current status of human rights violations happening inside Tibet.

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