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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

Speaker of Tibetan Parliament's Open Letter to China's President Hu Jintao

April 28, 2009

Central Tibetan Administration
April 27, 2009

Dharamshala -- In an open letter to China's
President Hu Jintao, the Speaker of the Tibetan
Parliament-in-Exile Penpa Tsering has expressed
the Tibetan people's deep concern over the
whereabouts of the 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima.

In his letter dated 27 April, Speaker Penpa
Tsering said: "According to media reports, a
Japanese journalist Yoichi Shimatsu had at a
conference at Qinghua University in Beijing
stated that His Eminence Panchen Rinpoche Gedhun
Choekyi Nyima had died of cancer some years ago,
which is in total contradiction to your
government’s stated position that all is well with H.E. Panchen Rinpoche.”

"All the Tibetans are deeply concerned and
worried about the statement if it is true.
Therefore we call on you to make it clear to the
whole world whether H.E. Panchen Rinpoche is
still alive or not and if H.E. Panchen Rinpoche
is alive, details of his well being and
whereabouts should be made public. We also urge
you to reinstate H.E. Panchen Rinpoche Gedhun
Choekyi Nyima to his rightful position,” Speaker Penpa Tsering said.

Tibetans in exile across the world yesterday
marked the 20th birthday of the 11th Panchen
Lama. They offered long life prayers and called
on the Chinese government to release the Panchen Lama.

Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and his parents disappeared
a day after His Holiness the Dalai Lama
recognised him as the 11th Panchen Lama on 14 May
1995.  Despite repeated appeals, no international
agency or human rights organisation has been
granted access to the boy or his family to verify his well-being.
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