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Canadian human rights groups and Tibet groups urge Canada to speak up against the disappearance of 11th Panchen Lama

May 17, 2020

Ottawa, May 17, 2020 - In a letter sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to mark 25th anniversary of the disappearance of 11th Panchen Lama – Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, a group of Tibetan, Hong Kong, Uyghurs, and Chinese organizations, and Canadian human rights groups Amnesty International Canada and Raoul Wallenberg Center for Human Rights have appealed for renewed action in support of Panchen Lama and human rights in Tibet. 

The letter highlights China's interference in the sacred Buddhist traditions of recognizing the reincarnation of lamas and how it sets a dangerous precedent for possible interference in the process of identifying the reincarnations of future Dalai Lamas. The group calls for Canada to press China to allow an independent fact-finding mission to assess the human rights violations perpetrated against Tibetans in Tibet and other regions in China. 

In May 2018, a group of Tibetan representatives appointed by China visited Ottawa and testified before Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development. During the testimony, Canadian MP Garnett Genuis asked the delegates on whereabouts of Panchen Lama and his family. The delegates responded that Panchen Lama is living a private life and does not wish to be disturbed. 

Tibet's Panchen Lama was just six years old when Chinese authorities abducted him. Since then, neither he nor his family has been seen or heard.

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