Speech on Missing Panchen Lama
Today we gather here to highlight the issue of 11th Panchen Lama, and urge the Chinese authoritarian government to release the missing Panchen Lama and stop suppressing religious practices in Tibet.
About the 11th Panchen Lama:
The Panchen Lama, is one of the most important religious leaders in Tibet, and is the incarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama who passed away in 1989. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama recognized a 6 year old boy, as the 11th Panchen Lama. He is also known as Gedhun Choekyi Nyima.
He was born on April 25, 1989 in central Tibet. As soon as he was recognized as the 11th Panchen Lama, on 17th of May 1995, the Chinese authorities abducted him, along with his family and other members of his entourage. Since then no one, including the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has seen or heard from this missing child or his family. They were arrested simply because he is a reincarnated lama; this was his only crime. He is also considered to be one of the youngest prisoners on this earth. Despite numerous appeals to the Chinese government from many different concerned parties such as UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Chinese government simply denys the appeals and has not revealed any information about the missing Panchen Lama. We ask the Chinese government why they have kidnapped a child and how is the freedom of practice ones own religion against any law? This is the total suppression of religious practice in Tibet by the Chinese totalitarian authority.
I will give you a brief account about the relationship between Chinese government and religion. It was back in 1955 when the His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama visited China. Mao Zedong, the founder of the modern Chinese political system, said “religion is poison”. However, after the disappearance of the 11th Panchen Lama, the Chinese government installed and replaced reincarnated 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, by another boy, in a monk’s robe, selected by Chinese official whose name is Gyaiancain Norbu. We argue that if Chinese government believes religion is poison than they should not intervene with any religion practice, they do not have any authority to manipulate others religions.
The new replacement boy, in a monk’s robe, recently has given a political title in the Chinese government, which is equivalent to that of a member of parliament or congressmen. He was routinely asked to make propaganda statements for the Chinese government. China has consistently violated freedom of religionous practice in Tibet. In the most recent case, on last Tuesday, monks and nuns from the monastery called Karma Monastery, which is in Chamdo eastern part of Tibet, were forced to disrobe by paramilitary force. These are some of the examples of extreme violation against freedom of religious practice in Tibet by Chinese authoritarian rule. There fore, we strongly demand freedom religious practice in Tibet! We are not only urging to Australian government and other international governments, but also to all our Australian brothers and sisters to support us to bring freedom of religious practice in Tibet and keep the light of rich values such as peace,love, compassion, and nonviolence alive to our generation and to many coming future generations.
For the last 17 years, we have urged the Chinese government to release the 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima. His wellbeing is a serious concern to us and to Tibetan Buddhism, and the Chinese government should pay attention to the calls of devotees and supporters for his immediate release.
The diappearance of the 11th Panchen Lama is an issue of terrible child abuse, so we are strongly requesting to all governments and to all our Australian brothers and sisters to help us to find this missing boy. He needs his voice to be heard and we are his voice so please do not turn your back this issue, and help us to prevent violation of religious practice in Tibet. Tibetan’s rich values such as peace and compassion are strongly needed to this generation, and to many coming future generations. I will end up this talk with one simple question to you all, what would you do if someone abducted your child and put them in prison? Your few minutes of thinking may save someone’s life.
Thank you once again for joining us and helping us to bring awareness to the 11th Panchen lama and the violation of religious freedom in Tibet.