China reiterates disappeared 11th Panchen Lama ‘living normal life’

The 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima.
The 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima.

(, Sep07, 2015) – China has reiterated Sep 6 that the 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, Tibet’s second most eminent Buddhist leader, was ‘living a normal life’ although no one had seen or heard from him since 1995 when the Chinese government disappeared him with his family. He does not want to be disturbed, Reuters cited Norbu Dondup, a member of the Tibet Autonomous Region’s United Front Work Department, as saying in response to a question at a press conference in Beijing.

“The reincarnated child Panchen Lama you mentioned is being educated, living a normal life, growing up healthily and does not wish to be disturbed,” the report quoted Norbu Dondup as saying.

No one knows what kind of ‘normal life’ the now 26-year-old Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, recognized as the 11th Panchen Lama by Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, in 1995, leads, cut off from the rest of the world, if he is still alive.

China’s official Xinhua news agency said Sep 6 that Norbu Dondup made the remarks about the “so-called ‘soul boy’ designated by Dalai Lama” at a press conference during which a white paper on Tibet was released ahead of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

Claiming atheist Chinese government’s absolute right to recognize the reincarnations of prominent Tibetan religious figures – the power of choice of rebirth believed by the faithful to be possessed only by spiritually realized beings – Norbu Dondup has denounced the Dalai Lama for declaring the boy as the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama, claiming the selection “ignored historical customs and destroyed religious rituals”; that it was “done without authorization” and was therefore “illegal and invalid”.

Projecting the communist government of China as the supreme religious authority over Tibet, Norbu Dondup has said: “No matter what the Dalai Lama says or does, the central government’s recognized rights toward reincarnation cannot be denied.”

China has over the past two decades repeatedly ignored the UN, government leaders, international parliamentary resolutions, Tibetan entreaties, and pleas and criticisms from international human rights bodies seeking access to or other kinds of proof of the 11th Panchen Lama’s conditions and well being and demanding his release.


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