DHARAMSALA, 23 April: Thirty bikers took off from the Tibetan National Martyrs’ memorial located at the entrance of Tsug-lak-Khang, the main temple in McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala for the ride for Panchen Lama bike rally.
Tibetan Youth Congress(TYC) President Tenzing Jigme and National Director of Students for a Free Tibet (SFT)- India Rinzin Choedon flagged off the bike rally from Mcleod Ganj to Delhi to commemorate the 30th birth anniversary of His Holiness the 11th Panchen Lama, Gendun Choekyi Nyima.
“It’s been twenty-four years since the forced disappearance of HH the 11th Panchen Lama and today we demand substantial and genuine evidence on his current status and condition,” TYC President Tenzing Jigme said in the press release.
“The case of Panchen Lama is both a political and religious matter,” he said and added that we will not entertain China’s meddling in Tibet’s centuries-old traditional Buddhist practice of reincarnation for political ends.
“We don’t recognise Gyaltsen Norbu, the Chinese appointed Panchen Lama and we will not recognise any Chinese appointed reincarnation of Tibetan Lama in the future as well,” he concluded.
Thirty bikers representing the 30thbirthday of the 11th Panchen Lama will cover the 488 km distance from McLeod Ganj to Delhi via over 23– 25 April with a stopover at Chandigarh where the organisers have planned several events. The rally will conclude in the national capital on the morning of the 25 April, on the 30th birth anniversary of Gendun Choekyi Nyima.
“The disappearance of Gendun Choekyi Nyima by the Chinese authorities constitute an ‘enforced disappearance’ in violation of the UN Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance,” National Director of SFT- India Rinzin Choedon said demanding his immediate release.
Ride for Panchen Lama bike rally was collectively organised by TYC and SFT to raise awareness on the Panchen Lama who turns 30 on 25 April and to raise a collective voice against China’s brutal rule in Tibet under its repressive policies, the organisers said.
“I have always taken part in the bike rallies in the past and I jumped at the opportunity take part in the ride for Panchen Lama bike rally. I am always ready to contribute for the Tibetan cause,” said Tsewang Gyalpo from Delhi who will spearhead the really.
The 30 riders of the TYC and SFT’s Ride for Panchen Lama Bike Rally have come from 5 different regions; Dharamsla, Delhi, Dekyi Ling, Rohtang and US.
Of the lot, the youngest among them is 21 and the oldest being 44.
Gendun Choekyi Nyima, born on 25 April 1989, in Lhari County in Nagchu region of eastern Tibet was recognized as the 11th Panchen Lama by His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama at the tender age of 6 on 14 May 1995.
Three days after his enthronement, the 11th Panchen Lama was kidnapped by the Chinese government and have been held captive since 17 May 1995, along with his family members.
Today the world’s youngest political prisoner has turned into one of the world’s longest-serving political prisoner and even after more than 23 years, the 11th Panchen Lama and his family’s whereabouts and condition still remains unknown. In his place, another child named Gyaltsen Norbu was appointed as the 11th Panchen Lama by the Chinese government.