It is now over 22 years since the real Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima’s abduction, which took place on 17 May 1995. The Chinese government continue to deny responsibility for his abduction, but in 1996 did acknowledge that Gedhun and his family were being held in a secret location.
Gyaltsen Norbu, the Chinese appointed fake Panchen Lama met Party Secretary Wu Yingjie of The Communist Party of China Tibet Autonomous Region in Lhasa in early August. Gyaltsen Norbu, the Chinese appointed Panchen Lama was installed by the Chinese government as part of its long-term strategy to control Tibetan Buddhism and eliminate loyalty to the Dalai Lama.
Wu Yingjie underlined the political imperatives for the Chinese-appointed Panchen Lama and hoped that the Panchen Lama “was able to keep in mind the teachings of General Secretary Xi Jinping on patriotism and to protect the country.”
According to a report in the official media on August 6, specifically mentioning the need for the “Tibetan Buddhist community” and by implication Gyaltsen Norbu to “draw a firm line against the 14th Dalai Clique.” According to the report, Wu Yingjie said that he hoped: “The Tibetan Buddhist community will earnestly […] adhere to the basic principles of the Party’s policies for religious work, draw a firm line against the 14th Dalai Clique, carry out religious activities in accordance with the law, resolutely safeguard national unity and social stability, strengthen ethnic unity, promote social progress, in order to contribute to the rapid development of Tibet, long-term stability, and the creation of a well-off society.”
The fake Panchen Lama said that with the 10th Panchen Lama as an example, he would “resolutely support the leadership of the Communist Party of China, firmly support the socialist system, give full play to their role and influence in education and guide Tibetan Buddhist monks & believers to doubly cherish with patriotic love & law-abiding, the development and stability of Tibet.”
In the past month Wu Yingjie, secretary of the regional party committee delivered a speech to the Standing Committee of the autonomous region to “further consolidate the party’s ruling foundation in Tibet.” In his speech to delegates, Party Secretary Wu also spoke about the importance of the “management of religious affairs.”
On 17 May 1995, just three days after he was named as the 11th reincarnation of the Panchen Lama and three weeks after his sixth birthday, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima disappeared along with his family. He was abducted by agencies of the Chinese government becoming the world’s youngest political prisoner. To date there has been no independent verification of his well-being or whereabouts.
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