(TibetanReview.net, May18’19) – A motion was adopted in the strongly socialist dominated parliament of Portugal on May 11, condemning “the forced disappearance of the world’s youngest political prisoner,” the 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, and urging Lisbon to “appeal to the Chinese Government for his release.”
The draft motion, in Portuguese, was introduced by Mr André Lourenço e Silva, 42, the spokesperson of People–Animals–Nature (PAN) party. It was adopted with 29 votes in favour and 19 against in the up to 230-member parliament, with only the Communist Party fully voting against it.
With this vote, “the Assembly of the Republic, meeting in plenary session, condemns the forced disappearance of the world’s youngest political prisoner, the 11th Panchen Lama, and expresses its concern at the lack of knowledge of his whereabouts and his physical, mental and emotional, urging the Portuguese Government to appeal to the Chinese Government for their release,” said Tibet Support Group, Portugal, in a statement posted on Tibet.net May 17.
PAN has called the disappearance of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima “a gross and flagrant violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms”, which violates the United Nations Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance”.
Ms Alexandra Correia, Coordinator of Tibet Support Group, Portugal (Grupo de Apoio ao Tibete-Portugal) has said she was greatly pleased that though this piece of advisory legislative work was non-binding, such a thing has never happened before in Portugal.
Mr Siva is the lone PAN member in parliament.
The Dalai Lama proclaimed Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, then 6 years old, as the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama on 14 May 1995. China reacted by disppearing him and his family on May 17 and appointing another boy, Gyaltsen Norbu, in his place as its 11th Panchen Lama.