The US has appealed to China to release the 11th Panchen Lama, a Tibetan Buddhist guru. When the Panchen Lama was six years old, he was imprisoned by the Chinese authorities. Gejhun Choekyi Nyima of Tibet was declared the 11th Panchen Lama in 1995. The Panchen Lama is the second-largest spiritual post in Buddhism after the Dalai Lama in Tibet. Nyima went missing days after the announcement and became the youngest political prisoner in the world.
“We have no information about where he is,” Sam Brownback, the US special envoy for international religious freedom, told reporters during a conference Thursday. And we will continue to pressurize the Chinese authorities to release the Panchen Lama. Let the world know where he is.
Brownback said in response to a question that China continues to talk about the right to appoint the next Dalai Lama, even though it does not have the right to do so. Meanwhile, the American Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has again demanded from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to recruit him to the post of Special Coordinator of Tibetan Affairs.