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Peace rallies across India to highlight 24-year-long kidnapped Tibetan religious leader’s case

11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima.

(TibetanReview.net, Apr20’19) – Activists and supporters of the Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA) are to highlight the issue of the Chinese government-disappeared 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima by carrying out up to 14-day peace marches in five regions across India beginning Apr 25, his 30th birthday. China has steadfastly refused to answer questions on his whereabouts since kidnapping him and his family on May 17, 1995. The BBC is to present a forensically constructed image of the disappeared Tibetan religious figure in a television programme on Apr 24.

The plan for the peace march was announced at a press conference at Dharamsala on Apr 18 by the TWA President Dolma Yangchen. Some 1,000 Tibetans, aged 30 to 80, were stated to have registered to take part in the peace marches.

India is in the middle of a general election and this has meant the march from Dehradun to Delhi is being curtailed with the participants taking a bus ride for a part of the distance. The march leaders will hold press conferences at Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Ghaziabad and Delhi.

Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA) press conference at Dharamsala on Apr 18. (Photo courtesy: TWA/FB)

The other marches will be from Dharamshala to Chandigarh (14 days), Gangtok to Salugara (8 days), Raipur to Nagpur (14 days), and Mysore to Bangalore (8 days).

President Dolma Yangchen said the march will seek to reach out to the people of India to raise awareness about and garner support on the issue of Tibet and the Panchen Lama.

Meanwhile, the Tibetan Youth Congress and Students for a Free Tibet will mark the occasion with a motorcycle rally on Apr 23. A symbolic number of 30 motorcyclists will take part in the rally.

Also, a forensically constructed image showing what the disappeared 11th Panchen Lama could look like twenty-four years after his abduction by the Chinese government will be unveiled on BBC’s The One Show. The short film will be broadcast in the United Kingdom at 7pm on Apr 24.

Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, had formally announced his recognition of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, then 6 years old, as the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama, Tibet’s second most prominent religious figure, on May 14, 1995. After kidnapping and disappearing him on May 17, 1995, China installed another boy, Gyaltsen Norbu, as the 11th Panchen Lama.

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