Lhasa [Tibet]: More than two decades since the 11th Panchen Lama was abducted and kidnapped. Tibetans around the world and most ardently those in Tibet still hope to see him in person again.
Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was born on April 25, 1989, in Lhari County. After the death of the 10th Panchen Lama, the Dalai Lama chose Gedhun on May 14, 1995, to be the 11th Panchen Lama, which is the second-highest position in Tibetan Buddhism.
Three days after his selection as Panchen Lama, Chinese authorities kidnapped then six-year-old Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and his family. A few months later, Chinese authorities announced their own pick to serve as the Panchen Lama: Gyancain Norbu.
Since the abduction, Chinese authorities have provided little information about Gedhun’s whereabouts, alleging that they need to protect him from being “kidnapped by separatists.”
In May 2007, Asma Jahangir, then-United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, suggested that the Chinese government allow an independent expert to visit and confirm Gedhun’s well-being.
On July 17, 2007, the Chinese authorities said that he was a “perfectly ordinary Tibetan boy” attending school and leading a normal life and that he “does not wish to be disturbed.” Authorities say that the state employs both of his parents and that his brothers and sisters are either working or at university.
The question arises time and again as to why did Beijing kidnap the Panchen Lama and continues to keep his whereabouts unknown and incognito? The reason for such an act is not simple folly, according to Tibet Press.
The Panchen Lama has a high spiritual and political stature as the position shares a very unique to the Dalai Lama. Both of them fall under the Gelugpa sect of Tibetan Buddhism that recognizes the reincarnation of each other.
Secondly, the last Panchen Lama, though pressured and used by Beijing to a certain degree during his early years, came out more mature and wiser after the Culture revolution, according to Tibet Press.
Beijing now wanted to use 10th Panchen Lama Choekyi Gyaltsen’s legacy in controlling and manipulating the Tibetans. In a bid to achieve this goal, the shortest route was to have control over the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama, the 11th Panchen Lama.
Lastly, the authorities in Beijing wanted to show that no one was ever beyond their reach, and they wanted to generate fear among the people.
Moreover, kidnapping the 11th Panchen Lama clearly emphasized their stand as to how even those with high standing and popular support were not beyond the reaches of the party. (ANI)