China again disappoints UN with Panchen Lama non-answers

Picture of six-year-old Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the 11th Panchen Lama. Chinese government abducted the six year old boy and his family.

(, Nov20’19) – China has again given evasive answers to UN queries on the whereabouts of the 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima whom it had kidnapped and disappeared in April 1995. The Panchen Lama is Tibet’s second most prominent religious figure, after the Dalai Lama.

Noting that China’s response was “not considered sufficient”, experts at the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) have noted in a communication dated Nov 18 that the enforced disappearance of Panchen Gedhun Choekyi Nyima “will remain under the consideration”.

China installed its own 11th Panchen Lama, Gyaltsen Norbu, in Nov 1995 after disappearing the six-year-old Gedhun Choekyi Nyima within days of his recognition and proclamation by the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader. It has since maintained that he is not the Panchen Lama but has refused to answer any question on his whereabouts and concerns.

During the WGEID’s 119th session in Geneva in Sep 2019, Chinese gave the same non-cooperative answers to the UN experts, adding he had “received free compulsory education”, that “he went to university”, and “currently he has found a job”.

Way back in May 2013, China told UN experts that Gedhun Choekyi Nyima had “received a tertiary education”.


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