Posted on August 19, 2021.
Today, the 25th of April, 2021, marks the 32nd Birth Anniversary of His Holiness the 11th Panchen Lama in the land of peace – Tibet – like the rising sun manifesting wisdom for all sentient beings. He is the impeccable Jetsun Tenzin Gedun Yeshi Thrinley Phuntsok Palsangpo, a spiritual teacher of singular quality and a patriot. On this blissful and auspicious day, we the monks and devotees of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, within and without Tibet, with folded hands – in body, speech and mind – offer our deepest respects and heartfelt TASHI DELEK to you!
Ever since your Serenity’s captivity by the Chinese Government, the incarnate lamas, monks and devotees of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery – inside and outside Tibet – have been celebrating your Birthday with mixed feelings of happiness and sadness, with fervent hope and prayers that you are well, and that one day, we will be able to see and hear your teachings! Furthermore, in our minds, we are always – day and night – keep remembering your holy presence and constantly pray for your health and happiness! Today, on this special day, we do the same!
For hundreds of years, the successive throne holders of the Panchen Lama lineage, have contributed immensely to the great political and spiritual traditions of Tibet. Above all, the great 10th Panchen Lama’s significant contribution to the cause of the political and spiritual struggle, especially at a time of critical danger of being wiped out by the Chinese regime cannot be ignored. Pushing aside his own personal safety issues, and for the sake of the Tibetan people’s identity, spiritual practice and survival of the unique way of life, he struggled fearlessly and unrelentingly for their preservation and promotion. His efforts have spread far and wide from Tibet into the Himalayan regions, and through these into the wider world of the east and north with tremendous devotion from the faithful, and respect and appreciation from others. In sum, he devoted his entire life for the cause of the Tibetan people until his untimely demise in 1989.
In 1995, to our shock, the Chinese government, using its full political might, captured the 11th Panchen Lama Gedun Choekyi Nyima – just 6 years old – from his home in Tibet with total disregard to our religious rights. To this day, after 26 long years, no one knows how he looks and whether he is alive or dead! Along with him, his entire family and Jhadrel Rinpoche, the Director of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, were all arrested and imprisoned. Even after 26 years of their disappearance, we still have no idea of their whereabouts!
Even after vigorous and continuous pressure on China by the devotees of the Panchen Lama, governments sensitive to human rights, UNO Human Rights Special focus on the Panchen Lama, human rights groups, NGOs and concerned individuals, the Chinese Government has turned a deaf ear. To the leaders around the world, NGO representatives and individuals who have met Chinese leaders to demand the release of the Panchen Lama, the Chinese government always parrots that he is well and living comfortably. But to this day, even after 26 years, they have failed to produce a single photograph of the Panchen Lama!
Due to this stonewalling of the truth for such a long time, today it is a pertinent question whether the Panchen Lama is still alive or not? This is a matter of deep concern to the Tibetan people and to the world at large. To the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery heads and monks, for generations, according to the unique spiritual tradition of receiving teachings from the Root Guru is a fundamental practice in Tibetan Buddhism. And, we are truly concerned about his life and whereabouts. More so today, because of Covid 19, which originated from Wuhan, China, has caused havoc around the world, taking millions of lives in its wake! Even today, the Pandemic surges. This is a matter of added and grave concern for us over the safety and health of the 11th Panchen Lama, his family members and Jatdrel Rinpoche! Therefore, there is an urgency to give a clarion call for the immediate release of the Panchen Lama! The Central Tibetan Administration, Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, and sympathetic governments and NGOs have all collectively intensified their demands for the same. And, we will not rest until the issue is resolved!
Today on the auspicious Birthday of the Panchen Lama, we once again urge the Chinese Government to release forthwith the Panchen Lama, his family members and Jatdrel Rinpoche! Give them their birthright to be free and to do what they want! Let the whole world see that they are alive and well!
Today, in the world, many governments and parliaments have demanded the release of the 11th Panchen Lama Gedun Choekyi Nyima. The United States of America, Canada and European nations, Human Rights Organizations and concerned individuals across the world, have extended unwavering support and demanded and continues to demand the whereabouts of the Panchen Lama and his immediate release. All kinds of support in the form of demands, programs and panels are being organized to put pressure on China. We take this opportunity to heartily thank all for your kind support for the release of the Panchen Lama. Please do continue to support until his release at the earliest! Our deepest gratitude to all!
At the same time, we take this opportunity to deeply thank the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), all the Buddhist lineages and organizations, all the peoples of the Himalayan region and beyond, for your unwavering support and devotion and, for the preservation and promotion of Tibetan culture and Buddha Dharma. Let us all join hands to struggle for the Tibetan cause and for the immediate release of the 11th Panchen Lama at the earliest!
In conclusion, we offer our heartfelt prayers for the long life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. May all His wishes to benefit sentient beings be fulfilled! At the same time, we pray for the swift release of the 11th Panchen Lama Gedun Choekyi Nyima from the clutches of the Chinese Government at the earliest. And, may the Father and Son, in union, bless the land of the Snows – Tibet! Office of the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery & Central Association for the Panchen Lama 25th of April, 2021