At the age of six years, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was recognised by Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama as the 11th Panchen Lama of Tibet on May 14, 1995. Protesters alleged that three days later, he along with his family went missing. Since then, their whereabouts have remained unknown. Tibetans claim that Gedhun Choekyi Nyima is one of the world’s longest serving political prisoners. In the past 22 years, a number of human rights experts and UN working groups have inquired about his whereabouts and demanded the same to be made public.
Tibetan writer and activist Tenzin Tsundue said China has no faith in ‘reincarnation’ and it is meddling with the seat of Panchen Lama only for the sake of power. China has kept Panchen Lama in hiding all these years but it does not understand that power lies in faith and not in symbolism, he added.