Gedhun Choekyi Nyima

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Gedhun Choekyi Nyima
The 11th Panchen Lama Gedun Choekyi Nyima.jpg
Gedhun Choekyi Nyima
The 11th Panchen Lama in 1995
Born (1989-04-25)25 April 1989. By his birth date, he is 29 years, 9 months and 25 days old.
Disappeared ĉ17 May 1995 (aged 6)
Lhari County, Tibet Autonomous Region (Wikipedia)
Status Missing for 23 years, 9 months and 2 days
Title 11th Panchen Lama
according to the 14th Dalai Lama
Predecessor Choekyi Gyaltsen

Gedhun Choekyi Nyima is the 11th Panchen Lama of Tibetan Buddhism as recognized by the Dalai Lama on 14 May 1995. After his selection, he was taken into protective custody by the Chinese government authorities and has not been seen in public since 17 May 1995.[1][2]

The Chinese government later named another child, Gyancain Norbu, as the Panchen Lama.[3] Alexander Norman wrote, "Today, the Panchen Lamas are famous for having two claimants to the see of Tashilhunpo: one recognised by the present Dalai Lama and taken into house arrest by the Chinese, the other recognised by China but by no one else."[4]

In an interview from April 2018, the Dalai Lama said that according to reliable information Gedhun Nyima is still alive and continuing a normal education. He also said of the Chinese selection, Gyancain Norbu, that he has studied well under the guidance of one good teacher. He also says that there can be more than one reincarnation of a lama - only one for the seat, but others that are also reincarnations, citing a famous example from a century ago, Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo, with five reincarnations of the body, speech, mind, quality and activity of the previous incarnation as separate children.[5]

Gedhun Choekyi Nyima
Tibetan name
Tibetan དགེ་འདུན་ཆོས་ཀྱི་ཉི་མ
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 更登確吉尼瑪
Simplified Chinese 更登确吉尼玛


Since his selection, the whereabouts of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima have been unknown.[6][1][7][8] Chinese government officials have stated that his whereabouts are kept undisclosed to protect him.[9] Human rights organizations termed him the "youngest political prisoner in the world".[10][11] No foreign party has been allowed to visit him.[12] Those who say Nyima is the 11th Panchen Lama call upon the Chinese authorities to prove that he is safe.[13]

On 28 May 1996, the Committee on the Rights of the Child requested to be told of Nyima's whereabouts. The Chinese government authorities declined this request, responding that Nyima was at risk of being "kidnapped by separatists" and that "his security had been threatened".[14] The Committee also requested a visit with Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, supported by a campaign of more than 400 celebrities and associations petitioning for the visit, including six Nobel Prize winners.[15] According to statements by the Chinese government from 1998, Nyima was then leading a normal life.[12]

In May 2007, Asma Jahangir, Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief of the UN Human Rights Council, asked the Chinese authorities what measures they had taken to implement the recommendation of the Committee on the Rights of the Child; they also requested the government to allow an independent expert to visit and confirm the well-being of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima while respecting his right to privacy, and that of his parents.

In a response dated 17 July 2007, the Chinese authorities said:

Gedhun Choekyi Nyima is a perfectly ordinary Tibetan boy, in an excellent state of health, leading a normal, happy life and receiving a good education and cultural upbringing. He is currently in upper secondary school, he measures 165 cm in height and is easy-going by nature. He studies hard and his school results are very good. He likes Chinese traditional culture and has recently taken up calligraphy. His parents are both State employees, and his brothers and sisters are either already working or at university. The allegation that he disappeared together with his parents and that his whereabouts remain unknown is simply not true.

This response did not answer the question about a visit or confirmation.[16]

The protective custody should have ended when he turned 18 per Chinese law.[17]

In 2015, on the twentieth anniversary of Gendun Choekyi Nyima's disappearance, Chinese officials announced "The reincarnated child Panchen Lama you mentioned is being educated, living a normal life, growing up healthily and does not wish to be disturbed."[18]

In 2018, the Dalai Lama confirmed the official Chinese announcement by affirming that he knows from "reliable sources" that the 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, is alive and following a normal education.[19]

External links


Search for videos:

Selected videos:

  • 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, “according to reliable source is alive and following a normal education
    Description: "Now it is quite controversial, one official Panchen lama, then another Panchen lama [which] I recognized according [to] our tradition. So I hope the official Panchen Lama, also you see I think study quite well under the guidance of one good teacher.

    Then the Panchen lama which I recognised, some time back, no news, disappeared, but then according [to] reliable information he is still alive and carrying a normal education.

    There are traditionally sometimes now for example I think at least one century ago, one very famous Khyentse Wangpo his reincarnation [had] five reincarnations, body, speech, mind, quality and activity. So of course, holding of seat is just one, but then something like, manifestation of previous reincarnation there could be more, like that."


  1. 1.0 1.1 Gedhun Choekyi Nyima the XIth Panchen Lama turns 18: Still disappeared The Buddhist Channel, 25 April 2007
  2. "Tibet's missing spiritual guide". BBC News. 16 May 2005. Retrieved 3 May 2010. 
  3. "Tibet's missing spiritual guide". BBC. 16 May 2005. Retrieved 15 November 2010. 
  4. Norman, Alexander (2008). Holder of the White Lotus: The Lives of the Dalai Lama. London: Little, Brown. p. 165. ISBN 978-0-316-85988-2. 
  5. 11th Panchen Lama Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, “according to reliable source is alive and carrying normal - Dalai Lama interview
  6. "Tibet's missing spiritual guide". BBC News. 16 May 2005. Retrieved 25 December 2013. 
  7. "World's youngest political prisoner turns 17". 2006-04-23. Retrieved 2013-12-25. 
  8. Coonan, Clifford (2010-03-02). "China appoints Panchen Lama in tactical move to quell unrest - Asia - World". The Independent. Retrieved 2013-12-25. 
  9. Xizang-zhiye 27 April 2005 Archived 24 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. "World's youngest political prisoner turns 17". 2006-04-23. Retrieved 2013-07-17. 
  11. Laird, Thomas (2006). The Story of Tibet: Conversations with the Dalai Lama, p 374. Grove Press, N.Y. ISBN 978-0-8021-1827-1.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Amnesty International Testimony US – China Relations before the Committee on Foreign Relations United States Senate by T. Kumar, Advocacy Director for Asia". US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. 11 September 2003. Retrieved 2013-07-17. 
  13. "UNPO – WS on Panchen Lamas Case". 2006-03-09. Retrieved 2013-07-17. 
  14. Site of the TCHRD Archived 24 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  15. "Appel Pour Le Plus Jeune Prisonnier Politique Du Monde". 1995-05-14. Retrieved 2013-07-17. 
  16. "China Fails to Respond to UN Rights Expert's Question on Panchen Lama". 25 April 2008. Retrieved 28 May 2008. 
  17. "Tibet's Stolen Spiritual Leader Turns 24". TCHRD. Archived from the original on June 6, 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  18. "China says Panchen Lama 'living a normal life' 20 years after disappearance". The Guardian. September 6, 2015. Retrieved September 6, 2015. 
  19. "According to reliable source, Panchen Lama Alive and Receiving Normal Education: His Holiness the Dalai Lama". Central Tibetan Administration. April 25, 2018. Retrieved April 25, 2018. 

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Prayudh Payutto John Myrdhin Reynolds Ringu Tulku Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche Tsenzhab Serkong Rinpoche
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Tashi Tsering (Chenrezig) Tashi Tsering (Jamyang) Tashi Tsering (tibetologist)
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