Tibetans march out from Gangtok seeking Panchen Lama’s immediate release

Gangtok, 25 Apr:

A peace march to mark the 30th birthday of the 11th Panchen Lama, Gendun Choekyi Nyima, whose whereabouts remain unknown ever since he was abducted by the Chinese authorities, was taken out here today. The march started from Chokasum hall at Namnang with around 250 members of the Tibetan community who have resolved to walk to Salugara in Siliguri, West Bengal, to register their love for the Panchen Lama and protest the Chinese action.

This peace march has been called by the Tibetan Women’s Association [TWA] across the country and similar rallies began simultaneously at four zones - from Dharamsala to Chandigarh, Dehradun to New Delhi, Nagpur to Chhattisgarh and Mysore to Bangalore.

The 11th Panchen Lama was abducted by Chinese government at the age of six and remains untraced to this day. TWA has launched this nation-wide peace march to commemorate his 30th birthday with a demand seeking his immediate release.

The rally is scheduled to cover at least 25 kilometres every day and will reach Salugara on the fifth day of the march. It is informed that a special ceremony will be held at Salugara when they arrive there.

TWA general secretary, Tshering Choezum, informs that rally has been organised to convey a message to the world about the injustice meted out to the Panchen Lama and the entire Tibetan community by the Chinese government.

She also called upon Indians and the Indian government to exert pressure on the Chinese government for the release of the Panchen Lama.