April 10, 2006

Tibet: A Request to Remember Gedhun Choekyi Nyima

Shortly after Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was proclaimed as the 11th Panchen Lama, he was forcibly removed by Chinese police. South Africa is urged to remember this young Tibetan boy, still held in custody, on Freedom Day 27 April.
It was on the 14th May 1995 that His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet proclaimed Gedhun Choekyi Nyima as the 11th Panchen Lama. Within days of the announcement, Chinese police forcibly removed the six year old boy and his parents from their home. Despite repeated appeals from the Tibetan Government-in-exile and international human rights organisations for information on the whereabouts of the Panchen Lama and his state of health the Chinese government has continually refused access to him.

Born on April 25, 1989 the young Panchen Lama has only known six years of freedom. While we in South Africa celebrate, Freedom Day on April 27 let us remember that a young Tibetan boy who has committed no crime, continues to languish in custody under the scrutiny of the People’s Republic of China.

This is an ideal opportunity for Hu Jintao, China’s President while he visits America, Canada and later India to demonstrate to the international community that he respects the present negotiations between the Tibet Government-in-exile and his country as serious and releases the Panchen Lama as a token of good will to the Tibetan Government-in-exile. Furthermore, with China preparing to host the 2008 Olympics they have at this juncture of preparations a further opportunity to exhibit demonstrable actions that they value human rights by releasing the Panchen Lama to the exiled Tibetan government.

The Olympics are meant to reflect “world peace through sport”. Due to its Apartheid policies, South Africa was banned from participating in the Olympics. Yet the International Olympic Community have purposely for their own gain refused to engage with both Tibetan supporters and international human rights organisations about the morality and message it says in allowing a country like China which has a questionable human rights record to host such an event.

Source: Phayul.com

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