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Tibetans celebrate 25th birthday of Panchen Lama

Sikyong and Ganden Tri Rinpoche at the 25th Birth Anniversary of His Holiness the 11th Panchen Lama at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery
Sikyong and Ganden Tri Rinpoche at the 25th Birth Anniversary of His Holiness the 11th Panchen Lama at Tashi Lhunpo Monastery
Reproduced with permission from Phayul.com

Although the XIth Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, is being held captive by the Chinese government he is remembered by Tibetans. Tibetans have marked the 25th birthday of Panchen Lama on Friday reported the Tibet Sun on April 25, 2014. Panchen Lama is revered as the second in hierarchy after the Dalai Lama.

Just one day after the Dalai Lama recognized him as the reincarnation of the Xth Panchen Lama, Panchen Lama disappeared along with his parents. Back than in 1995 he was just six years old. Soon thereafter the Chinese government appointed Gyaltsen Norbu as its own Panchen Lama. Initially the Chinese government denied allegations that Gedhun Choekyi Nyima had been kidnapped. Than in May 1996 under pressure for more information on him from people across the world China admitted to holding the XIth Panchen Lama.

China claimed that due to fear of his being kidnapped by separatists he was being held under request of his parents. Thereafter in a series of conflicting reports China said that Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was living in Beijing and in Tibet. The Chinese said his parents wished not to be disturbed and they wanted to lead a quiet life. Sikyong Lobsang Sangay, the Prime Minister of the Central Tibetan Administration, has said in a statement because he has not been seen since being taken into captivity on May 17, 1995, the very existence of the Panchen Lama is now in doubt.

Tibetans have observed the 25th birthday of the Panchen Lama with mixed feelings reports Phayul.com. The 11th Panchen Lama is one of Tibet's most important spiritual leaders. His 25th birthday was celebrated with mixed feelings of joy and pain as Tibetans noted the lack of any concrete proof from the Chinese government over his well being. Panchen Lama has been missing for nearly two decades. Prayers are being shared by Buddhists worldwide for the well being of Panchen Lama and his family.