Ishita Bhatia| TNN | May 20, 2016
MEERUT: To highlight the “pitiable condition of Tibetans under the Chinese rule” and to spread awareness about the 11th Panchen Lama – Gedhun Choekyi Nyima – the second most important figure in Tibetan Buddhism, as many as 47 cyclists reached Meerut on Friday afternoon.
The bicycle rally named ‘Cycle Rally for Panchen Lama’ has been organized by the Tibetan Youth Congress, the largest Tibetan NGO in exile.
Several youngsters – in the age group of 17-28 – had started their cycling journey from Dehradun on Tuesday and reached here on Friday. The group plans to reach New Delhi on May 23, the day the ’17-Point Agreement’ was signed between Tibet and China.
Tenzin Tsukte, president, Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, said, “Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was just six years old when he was recognized as the 11th reincarnation of the Panchen Lama, one of the most important religious leaders of Tibet. Soon after, Chinese authorities took him and his family into custody. For twenty years, people and human rights entities across the world have urged the Chinese government to release Panchen Lama but to no avail.”
To spread awareness about Panchen Lama, the Tibetan Youth Congress organized the cycle rally on May 17, the day Panchen Lama was arrested and the same will conclude in Delhi on May 23, the day the agreement was signed between Tibet and China.
“So far, we’ve halted at Haridwar, Roorkee and Mansoorpur. We will reach Delhi on May 23 and assemble in front of Jantar Mantar where we will submit a memorandum of our demands to the UN,” said Tsukte.
Tibetans from Dekyiling in Dehradun, Poanta Sahib, Puruwalla, Raipur, Rajpur, Herbertpur, Nainital, Mussoorie, Delhi, Dharamsala and Bir Tibetan Settlements are taking part in the rally.