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Vajradhara

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Panchen Lama missing

Tibet: 6-year old boy missing and over 50 detained in Panchen Lama dispute


London: 18 Jan 1996 - Amnesty International is seriously concerned that a six-year old Tibetan boy and his family have been missing from their home for eight months and may be under restriction by the authorities. It is also concerned that Chadrel Rimpoche, abbot of Tashilhunpo monastery and over 50 other monks and laypeople, remain in detention in connection with the disputed choice of the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama, Tibet's second most senior lama. On 14 May 1995, the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled religious leader, announced that six-year old Gendun Choekyi Nyima was the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama. Shortly after this announcement Gendun Choekyi Nyima and his family are reported to have been taken from their home to Beijing and their whereaboutshave been unknown ever since.

The Chinese authorities have disputed the Dalai Lama's authority to announce the discovery of the reincarnated Panchen Lama and rejected Gendun Choekyi Nyima in November, chosing instead another six-year old boy, Gyaltsen Norbu, as the 11th Panchen Lama. Gendun Choekyi Nyima was one of over 20 children discovered by a search committee which was appointed more than six years ago by the Chinese authorities. The leader of this official search committee, Chadrel Rimpoche, the abbot of Tashilhunpo monastery, was detained in May reportedly on suspicion of having communicated with the Dalai Lama about the names of the children. Meetings were called by the Chinese authorities throughout the summer of 1995 within Tibet's highest religious circles, encouraging them to denounce the Dalai Lama's announcement.

In November 1995, religious leaders in Tibet were told by the authorities to prepare written and oral statements criticizing the Dalai Lama and Chadrel Rimpoche. Chadrel Rimpoche has been removed from his post in July as head of the Tashilhunpo management committee and has been accused of communicating with the Dalai Lama over the choice of the reincarnation. In a speech made on 24 November 1995, the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Tibet Autonomous Regional Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, criticized the Dalai Lama by name and indirectly criticized Chadrel Rimpoche and others from Tashilhunpo Monastery: "he [the Dalai Lama] arbitrarily announced the so-called reincarnated child of the Panchen in violation of historical convention and the religious rituals of Tibetan Buddhism ... I hope you will set an example by taking the lead in exposing and criticizing the Dalai's crimes of undermining the work related to the reincarnation of the Panchen and in thoroughly exposing and criticizing the crimes of the former responsible persons of the Committee for Democratic Administration at the Tashilhunpo Lamasery who colluded with the Dalai; resolutely negate the so-called reincarnated boy arbitrarily confirmed by the Dalai ..."

In two further official newspaper articles, Chadrel Rimpoche has been criticized by name and accused of the "crimes" of cooperating with the Dalai Lama's alleged attempts to "sabotage" and "violate" the search for the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama. He is accused in some detail of manipulating "religious rituals and the historical convention" to ensure that Gendun Choeyki Nyima was chosen as the reincarnation. Chadrel Rimpoche is also accused of lying about the age of Gendun Choekyi Nyima.

On 21 August 1995, a Foreign Ministry spokesman denied that Chadrel Rimpoche was in detention but said that he was ill and in hospital. Amnesty International is concerned at continuing reports from Tibet which indicate that he has been in custody since his detention in May 1995. The New China News Agency also published a report at the end of November, apparently aimed at discrediting Gendun Choekyi Nyima, saying that the boy had once drowned a dog and calling this a "heinous crime in the eyes of Buddha" which disqualifies him from becoming a leading lama. The report described his parents as "notorious for speculation, deceit and scrambling for fame and profit", adding that they were not "pious, honest and kind people".

In late November 1995, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Shen Guofang, said "we have no idea about the whereabouts of the so-called soul boy determined by the Dalai Lama". He denied that Gendun Choekyi Nyima and his family had spent the last few months in detention in Beijing and added that "he is not missing, nor is he incarcerated", but that "he should be wherever he was born".

Amnesty International has received reports in January 1996 that the boy and his family are not in their home and have not been seen there since May last year. Amnesty International remains concerned about over 50 other monks and laypeople detained as a result of the reincarnation controversy. Eight further detentions believed to be associated with the reincarnation dispute have been reported: two lay-women were detained on 2 September 1995 from a carpet factory run by the Tashilhunpo monastery and on 4 November 1995, six monks were arrested for demonstrating outside the monastery.

The current situation of those reported to have been detained since May 1995 is not known, but among those still believed to be held are Chadrel Rimpoche's assistant Champa Chung, Samdrup, a businessman from Shigatse and Gyatrul Rimpoche, a lama from Tashilhunpo monastery. Others who were reported to have been detained include, Shepa Kelsang, Lhakpa Tsering, Ringkar Ngawang, Ngodrup, Tenzin, Tendor, Sherab, Tashi Dondrup, Tsering Phuntsog, Chungdag, Pema, Penpa Tsering, Buchung, Sonam Phuntsok, Tenzin, Gendun, Lobsang Tseten, Wangchuk, Pema Dorje, Lhakpa Tsering, Lobsang Dawa, Tsering Gonpo, Dorje Gyaltsen (all monks from Tashilhunpo) and Sil Zhi and up to 20 other unnamed monks and lay-people.

Please send telegrams/telexes/express and airmail letters in English, Chinese or in your own language, expressing concern that Gendun Choekyi Nyima and his family have not been seen at their home since May 1995 and that it is feared they may be under restriction; calling on the Chinese authorities to disclose their whereabouts and demanding that any restrictions are lifted immediately and that Gendun Choekyi Nyima and his family are free to return to their village and live without restriction or harassment; calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Chadrel Rimpoche, Gyatrul Rimpoche, Champa Chung, Samdrup and over 50 other monks and laypeople who have been detained in connection with the dispute over the 11th Panchen Lama.


Amnesty International
International Secretariat
1 Easton Street
London WC1X 8DJ
United Kingdom
 
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Ora et Labora

Dalai Lama, the 14th one, tells people that he is just a simple monk.

My suggestion to him and his follower monks and his finder or finders of his successors, they should take their simple monkhood status seriously, abstain from politics, and return to Tibet, and take up the Ora et Labora policy of European monks who taught savages agriculture and the rudiments of useful crafts.

Absolutely, they should not be running the government in Tibet.

When they are there back in Tibet, participate in the electrification of their homeland, roadbuilding, and providing homes with running water system, and of course very important, modern sewage disposal network.

All very appropriate tasks for simple monks; and they can meditate all the while as they engage in these endeavors. Didn't St. Paul think of his letters and sing psalms as he did his weaving for a living?


Susma Rio Sep
 
Susma Rio Sep said:
Dalai Lama, the 14th one, tells people that he is just a simple monk.

My suggestion to him and his follower monks and his finder or finders of his successors, they should take their simple monkhood status seriously, abstain from politics, and return to Tibet, and take up the Ora et Labora policy of European monks who taught savages agriculture and the rudiments of useful crafts.

Absolutely, they should not be running the government in Tibet.

When they are there back in Tibet, participate in the electrification of their homeland, roadbuilding, and providing homes with running water system, and of course very important, modern sewage disposal network.

All very appropriate tasks for simple monks; and they can meditate all the while as they engage in these endeavors. Didn't St. Paul think of his letters and sing psalms as he did his weaving for a living?


Susma Rio Sep

why should they go back to Tibet to be imprisoned, forced to recant their religions beliefs and then killed?

that makes no sense whatsoever.

why would you go back to a country that is being occupied and have to endure dancing on the dead bodies of your relatives? why would you want to submit to systematic rape and torture?

i think you should do more research on this issue.
 
Actually, if the Dalai Lama walked into Tibet with a following, and in the blaze of the world's press, you can be assured that this would force considerable world political pressure on the Chinese authorities. Maybe it wouldn't cause them to withdraw from Tibet, but it may just force a more free expression of religious belief there.

Susma is actually onto something important here. While the Dalai Lama remains in exile, there is no immediacy to the Tibetan peoples' struggle - not on the world stage. The moment the Dalai Lama sets up a crowd and walks into China, you can be assured that there would be a world outcry if he was imprisoned.

The willingness to offer to sacrifice one's life would be an immensely powerful tool in the Dalai Lama's hands. You can be sure that the Chinese leadership would suffer for it if they acted harshly against him. These are the times when China wants to be accepted in world politics. I think there could be very well an opportunity here to be seized - and faced - that could push the Tibetans to freedom much faster than living in exile only.
 
I said:
Actually, if the Dalai Lama walked into Tibet with a following, and in the blaze of the world's press, you can be assured that this would force considerable world political pressure on the Chinese authorities. Maybe it wouldn't cause them to withdraw from Tibet, but it may just force a more free expression of religious belief there.

Susma is actually onto something important here. While the Dalai Lama remains in exile, there is no immediacy to the Tibetan peoples' struggle - not on the world stage. The moment the Dalai Lama sets up a crowd and walks into China, you can be assured that there would be a world outcry if he was imprisoned.

The willingness to offer to sacrifice one's life would be an immensely powerful tool in the Dalai Lama's hands. You can be sure that the Chinese leadership would suffer for it if they acted harshly against him. These are the times when China wants to be accepted in world politics. I think there could be very well an opportunity here to be seized - and faced - that could push the Tibetans to freedom much faster than living in exile only.

honestly, i fail to see how it would make a difference in Chinas "one China" policies.

there are many high ranking lamas currently imprisoned.. where is the international outcry? there are some organizations that have protested, but to what end? the European Union has condemned the oppupation and the human rights violations... so what. nothing changed.

for good or bad, China is beyond the point of being intimidated by the West now. it will not back down on these policies... just watch what's happening with Taiwan... that's going to be a disaster of epic porportions.

besides... the Chinese won't let the Dalai Lama back into Tibet. they have categorically refused him permission to travel to Tibet on several occassions.

if it were so simple, do you not think that they would have done this already? you do realize that they are not asking for independence.. they have no problem with China being in control of the national security, foreign policy and so forth. what they want is the freedom to practice their religion without persecution and a stop to the environmental destruction of the Tibetan Plateau.
 
It more that China is going to be forced to liberalise over time - and that a return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet would merely accelerate that (though that is not usually a good thing - sociologically disruptive).

However, The Dalai Lama is an extremely high-profile figure. If there was enough publicity around his return - and satellite links so that it would be harder to silence him - would be an immense blow to the Chinese authorities.

And his arrest would create an international stir.

What of other prisoners, you ask? They are faceless beings - but the Dalai Lama has a face - a very public one, and that is what would make it all the more of an issue.

Would it succeed? I'm not sure. But where belief is faced with adversity, sacrifice is often required.

If the Chinese are pretty insistant that the Dalai Lama does not enter China, then you can be pretty sure that they are scared of his returning.

Would it achieve anything? Long-term? Short-term?

That in itself is another question. Sung Yi hasn't benefitted much. But there's oil in Burma.
 
you are correct... they are scared of it... though i don't really grasp the fullness of their fear.

i suspect that, like many things, once the control and power starts to slip through their grasp, they percieve as if the rest of it is not far behind.

i am really hoping that they can get this done whilst the current Dalai Lama is alive. a lot of the younger generation, Tibetans born after 1959, have never known freedom of any kind and it is only through the mediating influence of His Holiness that they don't have a formalized armed revolt ongoing there.

who can say what will happen if this isn't concluded whilst that willingness to be flexible still exists.
 
Vajradhara said:
you are correct... they are scared of it... though i don't really grasp the fullness of their fear.

i suspect that, like many things, once the control and power starts to slip through their grasp, they percieve as if the rest of it is not far behind.

Absolutely right - authority needs to ensure control. Any single threat to authority can bring it down.
 
I said:
If there was enough publicity around his return - and satellite links so that it would be harder to silence him - would be an immense blow to the Chinese authorities.
Like Tiananmen Square? The Chinese authorities are not in any way responsive to such "blows".
 
That was a surprisingly long time ago - and it was a sudden and unexpected event that the Chinese authorities panicked with. The world has changed a lot in the past 15 years - even China.
 
China is, in many ways, similar to the former Soviet Union. there simply is too much state apparatus to engender change from the outside.

quite frankly.. and i'm hoping that i'm wrong about this, i don't think that China will change until the people revolt again. heck... you'd think they'd have it down pretty good by now, seeing as how they've had numerous rebellions.

it's really a tough situation all around.. and that may be an indictment of the West more than anything else.

we see it all the time... there are massive wars in Sudan, Rawanda, Congo et al and the west, for the most part, passes some "statement" of condemnation. which has no effect whatsoever on the civilians caught in the cross fire.

one wonders if it's simply a massive case of attention deficit disorder? perhaps if we could keep our focus on an issue, we could actually resolve it?
 
A point to raise there, though, is that China is seeking - and becoming - more integrated into the Global Market. Even if it doesn't want to let go too quickly ideologically, it wants to assimilate itself into the world economic markets. That means they have a real Achilles Heel.

In 1988, China wasn't too worried about how the global community perceived the country. Now it surely has an eye on ensuring that investors are attracted.

The Dalai Lama issue is past history, so far as the world is concerned. The only way to bring it into the present is to force the issue.

As for the Afircan conflicts - you can often (but not always) trace a connection with the West - ie, where Western nations or coporations gain specifically. For example, in Angola, it's the diamond trade.
 
Namaste brian,

whilst that's true enough... the corporations wouldn't be doing what they are doing if the average consumer wasn't supporting them and buying their goods.

we cannot lay the blame at the feet of corporate greed, though they can have their share, we must recognize that it's our behavior and habits that have directly led to this type of behavior.

is the BBC World News here in the states the same as the one in Britian? in any event... they had an interview with some monetary person about the American Free Trade zone agreement that Bush and Fox just signed off on..

his point, which i think is quite good, is that Western corporations want to charge American prices for their goods whilst paying Mexican wages for them to be produced. in the end, this is a terrible policy for all nations involved...though it's quite good for the corporate entities.

sigh... it's hard not to be discouraged... but there is reason for hope :) one person can change the world.
 
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