Today, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, Tibet’s Panchen Lama, turns 22 years old.
Abducted by the Chinese government in May 1995, shortly after he was recognized by the Dalai Lama as the reincarnation of one of Tibet’s highest Buddhist leaders, he has been missing for 16 years. China refuses to answer to the United Nations, or any other human rights group on his whereabouts. He is often referred to as ‘the world’s youngest political prisoner.’
While I was in Dharamsala working on the series, ‘Tattoos of Tibetan Ex-Political Prisoners,’ I interviewed Pasang Dorjee. He is just one of countless Tibetans who have made sacrifices in the name of this stolen jewel.
In 1996, after the Chinese abducted the 11th Panchen Lama, the government appointed their own ‘fake lama.’ In an attempt to consecrate this, the Chinese government wanted to pay to host a ceremony for their puppet lama at Kardze Monastery.
Dorjee was arrested on April 2, 1996 for putting up posters in the monastery saying they did not want Chinese money.
Photo credit: Built On Respect