AAP staff report
MINNEAPOLIS (April 25, 2012) — The Regional Tibetan Youth Congress Minnesota on Wednesday held a rally to raise awareness about the fate of the Panchen Lama.
The event was held at Peavey Plaza on Nicollet Mall Downtown Minneapolis and involved Minnesota Tibetans and Tibet community supporters. April 25 marked the 23rd Birthday of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, once considered the world’s youngest political prisoner.
“We demand that the Panchen Lama and all the other political prisoners inside Tibet be released immediately,” says Tenzing Jigme, President of the RTYC-MN chapter.
The Panchen Lama was kidnapped with his family when he was 6 years-old, and disappeared at the hands of the Chinese government in 1995 after His Holiness the Dalai Lama invoked his centuries-old religious authority to recognize him as the 11th Panchen Lama.
The title is Tibet’s second most-revered lama, the Panchen Lama bears part of the responsibility of identifying the next incarnation of the Dalai Lama and vice versa, an element that appears crucially pertinent to the Chinese government when it comes to maintaining their illegitimate territorial claim on Tibet.
“Minnesota Tibetans demand the release of His Holiness the Panchen Lama, and all the thousands of Tibetan political prisoners whose only crimes are nonviolent peaceful expressions inside Tibet,” Jigme added.