New Delhi: Twenty-seven years after his abduction, a group of 15 Tibetan activists in Karnataka embarked on a three-day bike rally from Sunday to Tuesday to raise awareness about the 11th Panchen Lama.
Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was 6 years old when he is believed to have been abducted by Chinese authorities on 17 May 1995, three days after the 14th Dalai Lama — who has been living in exile in India since fleeing Beijing-controlled Tibet in 1959 — identified him as the 11th Panchen Lama.
The Panchen Lama is considered the second most important spiritual leader in the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) sect of Tibetan Buddhism after the Dalai Lama, and plays a central role in identifying the Dalai Lama’s reincarnation or successor.
It was to protest these actions that the bike rally, between Karnataka’s Mundgod and Bengaluru, was organized by the Tibetan Youth Congress, a global non-profit that advocates for the independence of Tibet from China, and the Tibetan Women’s Association. This was followed by a “peace march” and sit-in protest at Bengaluru’s Freedom Park Tuesday.
“So, if one is missing, questions arise about who will be the supreme religious authority.” While refusing to reveal Nyima’s whereabouts since his abduction in 1995, Beijing has instead propped up a proxy Panchen Lama.
“We had been wanting to hold this rally for a long time but due to the pandemic, we couldn’t. It’s important that such events are held to remind people of what China did 27 years ago,” said Jampa Norbu, president of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress (Mundgod).
(Information supplied by The Print)
By Team TRC