Brussels – On the occasion of the 34th birthday of the 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, 30 Spanish senators call on the Chinese government to allow the Panchen Lama to exercise his fundamental freedom in accordance with the PRC's international commitments and call for the immediate release of the Panchen Lama, his family and all other Tibetan political prisoners.
The 11th Panchen Lama of Tibet will be 34 years old on April 25, 2023. He was abducted by the Chinese communist government at the age of six after His Holiness the Dalai Lama recognised him as the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama. He has since disappeared and become the world's youngest political prisoner. On the occasion of the 34th anniversary of the 11th Panchen Lama, 30 Spanish senators call on China to release the 11th Panchen Lama from Tibet and 11 MEPs ask if EU officials will raise the issue of the 11th Panchen Lama's enforced disappearance with China.
On the 34th anniversary of the 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the members of the Inter-Parliamentary Group for Tibet in the Spanish Senate call on China to reveal his whereabouts and release Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and his parents, immediately and unconditionally, as well as all Tibetan political prisoners
The Spanish Senators said, "Tibet remains the third least free country in the world, tied with Syria and South Sudan. Tibet has been under the tight control of China for more than six decades. The type of repressive regime is best exemplified by the case of the Panchen Lama".
"We call on the Chinese authorities to allow him to fully exercise his fundamental freedoms, as established in the international commitments of the Chinese Communist Party. And we call for the prompt release of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and his parents, immediately and unconditionally, together with all Tibetan political prisoners," the Senators added.
On the occasion of the 34th anniversary of the 11th Panchen Lama, eleven MEPs, including Mikuláš Peksa, Antoni Comín i Oliveres, Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó, Clara Ponsatí Obiols, Miriam Lexmann, Markéta Gregorová, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Reinhard Bütikofer, Hannes Heide, Aušra Maldeikienė, Salima Yenbou, from across the political spectrum, have submitted a written question to the EU High Representative, Josep Borrell, asking whether he will raise the issue of the 11th Panchen Lama's enforced disappearance with his Chinese counterpart at the EU-China strategic dialogue, and whether the EU will consider adopting an official position on the succession of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, similar to that of the US.
The Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR) of the Central Tibetan Administration issued a statement on the 34th Birth Anniversary of the 11th Panchen Lama, and stated, " Today marks the 34th birth anniversary of one of Tibet’s important religious leaders, the 11th Panchen Lama, who has been in Chinese custody for more than 27 years since he was initially abducted at six along with his entire family. What was meant to be a sacred and joyous day for Tibetans and Buddhists around the world to celebrate the birth anniversary of their religious leader has instead become a painful reminder of China’s abduction and disappearance of the Panchen Lama."
“The Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR) of the Central Tibetan Administration extends heartfelt prayers for the well-being of the 11th Panchen Lama on his 34th birthday. Also, we would like to thank the governments, parliaments, NGOs, the UN human rights bodies and mechanisms, Buddhists and individuals all over the world for sharing the collective grief and concern over the long-term disappearance of the Panchen Lama, for continuously pressing the PRC government to uphold its constitutional guarantees and international obligations and for urging the government of the PRC to immediately release of the Panchen Lama and his family. We also call upon the PRC government to respect the fundamental rights of the Tibetan people and immediately stop the practice of enforced disappearance of Tibetan religious leaders and influential individuals in the community. As long as China does not provide credible information regarding the Panchen Lama and immediately release him, his family and Chadrel Rinpoche to freedom, we will continue to advocate internationally to hold China accountable for one of the greatest disrespect to Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan peoples’ religious freedom and belief,” remarked Mr Karma Choeying, Secretary of the DIIR.
Four Tibetan non-governmental organisations in Dharamshala, Tibetan Youth Congress, and Students for a Free Tibet, Tibetan Women's Association and National Democratic Party of Tibet organised a prayer service for Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the 11th Panchen Lama of Tibet, in the main Tibetan temple in Dharamshala on the occasion of the 34th birthday of the 11th Panchen Lama.