Tag Archives | Panchen Lama
Zam dam

Photo-op for China-appointed Panchen Lama exposes China’s strategic interests in Tibet

Profile of Acting Governor of Qinghai highlights China’s focus on damming and diverting Tibet’s water – despite earthquake risks

September 13, 2018

  • China’s religious policies and authoritarian control in Tibet emerge from the leadership’s strategic and economic imperatives, and those interests converged in a visit last month by the Chinese-appointed Panchen Lama to Zam (Chinese: Zangmu) dam, which supports the largest hydropower project in the Tibet Autonomous Region.
  • The Acting Governor of Qinghai, Liu Ning, has a career in hydrology and is a former senior member of the official committee for the massive Three Gorges dam, the world’s largest hydropower project and most notorious dam, described by environmentalists as a “model for disaster.” His appointment highlights the high-level focus on exploiting Tibet’s water as a ‘strategic asset’ for China, including in the expansion of the South-North Water Transfer Project.
  • China is planning more hydropower dams on Tibet’s major rivers, despite a proven connection between earthquakes and dams on the Tibetan plateau, one of the most seismically active areas in the world.
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China tightens screws on Tibetan Buddhism

Top Communist Party officials emphasize ‘Sinicization’ of Buddhism while the China-appointed Panchen Lama visits lake associated with search for the Dalai Lama’s reincarnation

September 11, 2018

  • Wang Yang, the fourth highest ranking official in the Politburo hierarchy and head of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), stressed the importance of tighter controls over religion and the new official goal of ‘Sinicizing’—or bringing under Chinese control—Tibetan Buddhism during an ‘inspection tour’ of the Tibetan cities of Lhasa and Chamdo on August 24-26.
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Panchen Lama

United States government commemorates birthday of the Panchen Lama

April 27, 2018

In a statement linked to the 11th Panchen Lama’s 29th birthday, State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert delivered a statement calling on Chinese authorities to release him. The Panchen Lama has not been seen in public since he was taken away by Chinese authorities in 1995 at age six, making him the world’s youngest political prisoner. Earlier this week United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback reaffirmed the commitment of the United States to call on the Chinese government to release the Panchen Lama and provide the truth on his wellbeing and whereabouts, as well as ensuring the respect of religious freedom for the Tibetan people.

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US Senate passes unanimous resolution calling on China to end interference in Tibetan Buddhism

April 26, 2018

Yesterday, on the 29th birthday of the Panchen Lama, the US Senate unanimously passed Resolution 429, which expresses support for the human rights and religious freedom of the Tibetan people and Tibetan Buddhists. The resolution specifically references their right to identify reincarnate lamas without Chinese government interference, and recognizes March 10, 2018 as Tibetan Rights Day.

The resolution, which was introduced by Senators Leahy, Cruz, Feinstein, and Rubio, also recalls the abduction of the Panchen Lama by the Chinese government in 1995. The Panchen Lama has not been seen since then, and the Chinese government has repeatedly refused to provide information regarding his whereabouts.

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ICT meets US Ambassador for International Religious Freedom to reiterate call for release of Panchen Lama disappeared since 1995

April 25, 2018

April 25, 2018 marks the 29th birthday of the 11th Panchen Lama, who has not been seen in public since he was taken away by Chinese authorities in 1995 at age 6.

In a meeting with United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, ICT President Matteo Mecacci discussed the important role the United States government can play in securing the Panchen Lama’s release. Ambassador Brownback reaffirmed the commitment of the United States to call on the Chinese government to release the Panchen Lama and provide the truth on his wellbeing and whereabouts, as well as ensuring the respect of religious freedom for the Tibetan people.

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State Department notes ‘severe’ repression in Tibet in 2017 Human Rights Report

April 20, 2018

The State Department’s latest Human Rights Report, released on April 20, 2018, documents pervasive repression and high levels of deployments by the paramilitary People’s Armed Police in Tibet. Among other issues, the report tracks the many fronts Chinese authorities have opened in their attacks on the Dalai Lama, including strengthened punishments for Chinese Communist Party (CCP) members who secretly harbor religious beliefs, and the detention of Tibetans who express support for him.

“The U.S. report on the situation of human rights in Tibet confirms the information that the International Campaign for Tibet has been gathering about the deteriorating situation in Tibet,” said Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet. “This message from the Administration complements a series of legislations before the United States Congress, including the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, and their approval would strengthen the call for human rights in Tibet,” Mecacci added.

Examining the ethnic dynamics of Chinese rule in Tibet, the report notes that ethnic Chinese CCP members hold “the overwhelming majority of top party, government, police, and military positions” in Tibet, and that on the national level, none of the members of the CCP Politburo or the Standing Committee of the Communist Party are Tibetan.

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Ros-Lehtinen

Representatives Jim McGovern and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Draw Attention to Tibet in U.S. House of Representatives

May 2, 2017

Representatives Jim McGovern (Democrat from Massachusetts) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Republican from Florida) spoke today in the House of Representatives to draw attention to the situation inside Tibet. Participating in the General Speeches period as the House began its session, they displayed a large portrait of the Dalai Lama, spoke about their support for the aspirations of the Tibetan people, the respect they have for the Dalai Lama, and about their work in the United States proactively promoting initiatives on Tibet.

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The 11th Panchen Lama

U.S. Religious Freedom Commissioner’s open letter to the Panchen Lama on his 28th birthday

April 25, 2017

U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Commissioner Tenzin Dorjee has written an open letter to the Panchen Lama, to coincide with his April 25 birthday, in which he says, “my resolve to find you and restore you to your rightful role becomes stronger.”

The Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was recognized by the Dalai Lama in 1995, and soon thereafter he was taken away from his home by the Chinese authorities and has not been seen since. In his place, China selected another boy.

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Gyaltsen Norbu

Kalachakra with Chinese Characteristics: Chinese appointed Panchen Lama gives teaching as authorities suppress religious freedom

July 29, 2016

The Chinese appointed Panchen Lama, installed by the Chinese government as part of its long-term strategy to control Tibetan Buddhism and eliminate loyalty to the Dalai Lama, has carried out a major religious teaching in Shigatse – the first time a Kalachakra initiation has been held in the Tibet Autonomous Region for more than half a century.

The ceremony highlights the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to raise the profile of a religious figure they appointed with political objectives, in a climate of intensifying religious oppression and a harsh campaign against the Dalai Lama, which involves preventing Tibetans from traveling into exile to attend his teachings. A major Kalachakra ceremony conferred by the Dalai Lama in exile in Ladakh in 2014 was described by the Chinese state media as “inciting hatred, terror and extremist action”, and many Tibetans returning to Tibet from a Kalachakra taught by the Dalai Lama in India in 2012 were imprisoned and ‘re-educated’ at length.

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China attempts to legitimize its Panchen Lama through a major speech as the real Panchen Lama’s birthday approaches

April 21, 2015

  • On April 25, Gendun Choekyi Nyima, the 11th Panchen Lama, will turn 26. His Holiness the Dalai Lama recognized Gendun Choekyi Nyima, from Lhari, Nagchu (Chinese: Naqu) in Tibet, as the 11th Panchen Lama on May 14, 1995. A few days later, Chinese authorities abducted him and despite numerous enquiries for access from the international community, have not revealed information about his whereabouts or welfare. His plight remains of deep concern to the Tibetan people.
  • Chinese authorities then installed, in November 1995, Gyaltsen (Chinese: Gyalcain) Norbu, 25, as Panchen Lama, violating Tibetan religious traditions and practices concerning the reincarnations of lamas. Tibetans feel he has been selected by the Chinese authorities to ensure control of Tibet and assert their authority over a future incarnation of the Dalai Lama.
  • On March 4, 2015 Gyaltsen Norbu delivered a speech in Beijing at a meeting of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in which he addressed a variety of issues related to religious policies in Tibet, and stated that Tibetans “enjoy religious freedom.”
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Chinese tour guide

New Chinese exhibition in Lhasa attempts to rewrite history on Dalai Lama

August 12, 2014

In a new spin on the Chinese authorities’ attempts to rewrite history, the state media has given prominent coverage to an exhibition this week in Lhasa of gifts offered by Dalai Lamas and Panchen Lamas to the Chinese government. The exhibition, in Lhasa’s Tibet Museum, aims to position the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama as a part of history instead of as key contemporary figures in Tibetan religion and culture, displaying their gifts as ‘cultural relics’.

The exhibition, geared towards a Chinese audience, opened in Lhasa on Monday (August 11), a time when the city is packed with mainly Chinese tourists. It featured an image of Mao standing in a Tibetan landscape among houses that display red flags, in a disturbing attempt likely to be distressing to Tibetans to assert the Chinese authorities’ ‘ownership’ of Tibet and the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama lineages.

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Panchen Lama

Cultural Genocide and the 11th Panchen Lama

April 25, 2013, is the 24th birthday of the 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, taken into Chinese custody on May 17, 1995 at age six. He has not been seen in public since. (Video, “Tibet’s Stolen Child“) On this date last year, the International Campaign for Tibet released its report, “60 Years of Chinese […]

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Mayum Sonam Dolma, the mother of the late Tenth Panchen Choekyi Gyaltsen Rinpoche

Mother of 10th Panchen Lama passes away

The International Campaign for Tibet is deeply saddened to share with you the news of the demise of Mayum Sonam Dolma, the mother of the late Tenth Panchen Choekyi Gyaltsen Rinpoche. Mayum Sonam Dolma passed away in city of Siling (Ch: Xining) today, at the age of 97 at around 9:30 am local time. The […]

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China to UN expert group: Panchen Lama receiving “excellent education”

Group Raises cases of disappearances of Tibetan monk Jigme Guri and monks from Kirti monastery GENEVA, February 9, 2012 – According to a report of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance (WGEID) submitted to the 19th session of the UN Human Rights Council, the government of the People’s Republic of China continues […]

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The 11th Panchen Lama

Chinese government imposes visit of its Panchen Lama on Tibetans: troops surround Labrang Tashikhyil monastery

Security stepped up in Labrang and foreigners told to leave due to visit of Chinese-appointed Panchen Lama Gyaltsen Norbu in next few days Tibetans say they will not welcome him as they are loyal to Gendun Choekyi Nyima, recognised by the Dalai Lama as the Panchen Lama, and disappeared for last 16 years No historical […]

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ICT calls upon China to reveal the whereabouts of the Panchen Lama

April 25 is the 22nd Birthday of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the 11th Panchen Lama of Tibet, who has not been seen since his disappearance in May, 1995. The International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) joins governments and concerned individuals across the world today in urging the Chinese authorities to declare the whereabouts and welfare of this […]

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US and China to resume human rights dialogue; follows Panchen Lama’s 21st birthday

The U.S. State Department has announced that the next round of the U.S.-China Human Rights Dialogue will be held on May 13-14, in Washington, DC. It is the first such meeting under the Obama Administration; the last human rights dialogue was in May 2008, and before that in 2002. “The Obama Administration has made clear […]

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The 11th Panchen Lama

Panchen Lama marks coming of age in Chinese custody: China’s strategies of religious control in Tibet revealed in new report

The boy recognised by the Dalai Lama as the Panchen Lama, one of Tibet’s most important religious leaders, marks his 18th birthday and coming of age Wednesday (April 25) after more than a decade in Chinese custody. The Panchen Lama’s plight has come to symbolize the crisis facing the survival of Tibet’s religious culture. A […]

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