Free His Holiness 11th Panchen Lama, Gedun Chökyi Nyima

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Free His Holiness 11th Panchen Lama, Gedun Chökyi Nyima

Postby phantom59 » Sun Dec 20, 2009 6:14 am

The Panchen Lama was 6 years old when he and his parents were kidnapped from their home in Tibet by the chinese communist. Now a teenage boy, he was the world's youngest political prisoner when he was first abducted and has been missing for 20 years.

Panchen Lama is a religious title like Vice President or Prime Minister that Tibetans give to the second greatest leader of Tibet. Panchen means "Great Scholar" and Lama is a word Tibetans use for a religious teacher. We believe that the Panchen Lama is the protector of all the world's living beings.This all means that the Panchen Lama should grow up to be a very powerful leader of Tibet and perhaps the world.

Tibet used to be its own country but china invaded it in 1949. After the chinese took over, Tibetans in Tibet were no longer free or happy. china kidnapped the Panchen Lama, his parents and brother from their home in Tibet and are holding them under house arrest somewhere in china.

china had so many soldiers and so many guns that they didn't care how the Tibetans felt or what they said. They were very angry because the Tibetans said they wanted their country back so they started to put Tibetans in jail where many of them were beaten and killed.
The Dalai Lama, the leader of Tibet, escaped to India before the chinese soldiers could find him and hurt him. But the chinese soldiers found the 10th Panchen Lama and wouldn't let him go.After 1959, life was very sad for Tibetans in Tibet. Many people died because they were tortured in prison and put in labour camps.

Today, Tibetans in Tibet are still forced to live by the oppression of the chinese communists. china does not like anyone who says their laws should be changed. This is why so many Tibetans ran away as refugees from Tibet to live in other places like Canada, the United States and India.
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Free 11th Panchen Lama, Free All Tibetan Prisoners

Postby phantom59 » Sun Dec 20, 2009 6:32 am

The 11th Panchen Lama, Gedun Choekyi Nyima, son of Kunchok Phuntsok and Dechen Choedon, was born on April 25, 1989 and was officially proclaimed as the true reincarnate of the 10th Panchen Lama, who died unexpectedly after delivering an historic anti chinese government speech. The young Panchen Lama is presently the youngest political prisoner in the world and we appeal to the international community, non governmental organizations and every individual to demand the chinese oppressors release and ensure the safety and well-being of His Holiness. the 11th Panchen Lama, Gedun Choekyi Nyima.


Why is beijing so worked up over this issue? china seeks to legitimize its rule in Tibet by claiming it plays a crucial role in the identification of Tibet's two most important spiritual leaders, the Dalai Lama and in this case the Panchen Lama.In May 1995 Gedun Choekyi Nyima, the 6 year old boy identified by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the 11th Panchen Lama, disappeared. Suspicions that he had been kidnapped were confirmed in May 1996 when the chinese dictatorship admitted to holding him and his family in "protective custody." After repeated attempts to gain access to the boy, no international agencies or human rights organizations (including the United Nations) have been allowed to visit Gedun Choekyi Nyima or his family, and their condition remains uncertain.In an attempt to establish their authority over all "internal affairs" of china,political or otherwise the chinese dictatorship nominated and selected their own 11th Panchen Lama in November 1995. Their selection, a six-year-old boy named Gyaltsen Norbu, is another young victim in china's plan to undermine and control the Tibetan people, their religion, and their nation.

We request the immediate and unconditional release of Gedun Choekyi Nyima and his family. He must be allowed to return to Tashi Lhunpo Monastery to be installed as the rightful holder of the Panchen Lama lineage and given the proper monastic education. We also request the immediate and unconditional release of all other religious prisoners of conscience.

Bhoood Raaangzen
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AEQoo0u ... re=related

Mimang Langlu
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTrMPQ9e ... re=related

Bhoood Gyaaalo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzXbGZGa ... re=related
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Re: Free His Holiness 11th Panchen Lama, Gedun Chökyi Nyima

Postby phantom59 » Sun Dec 20, 2009 6:37 am

The 10th Panchen Lama Lobsang Choekyi Gyaltsen was born in Amdo, Eastern Tibet, in 1938. he was recognized as the reincarnation of 9th Panchen Lama by Flak Lakho Rinpoche, and in 1951 was confirmed by the 14th Dalai Lama as the 10th Panchen Lama. In 1952 he met Dalai Lama in Lhasa and then took up his seat in Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Shigatse, Tibet.
Whilst maintaining good relations with the chinese, the Panchen Lama was skillful in promoting the welfare of the Tibetan people. Realising that the chinese communist were developing a strategy which would destroy Tibetan culture, denying their stated fundamental policies of no racial discrimination and the freedom to practice religion, he submitted a 70,000 character petition demanding that the chinese government investigate the policy.

The chinese communists accused the Panchen Lama of being anti-chinese and counter-revolutionary activities. In 1964, at a public meeting in Lhasa, he was removed from all public positions of authority. He was openly criticised and humiliated, and later taken to beijing. In 1966, he was subjected to a series of thamzing 'struggle sessions' in the national institute of minorities in beijing, and was imprisoned for nine years and eight months, being released in 1975. In 1979, Panchen Lama was appointed deputy chairman of the national peoples politics consultative committee and deputy chairman of the national peoples congress. He traveled widely in the Tibetan regions of Amdo and Kham. His message urged Tibetans to maintain god relations with the chinese. He also strongly advised them to keep alive the spirit to," Be a Tibetan" and "Be for Tibetan cause". In 1985, in the Monlam festival after the Tibetan New Year in Lhasa, The Panchen Lama said, "His Holiness the Dalai Lama and I are spiritual friends. There are no differences between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and me. Some people are trying to create discord between us. This will not succeed".

At Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, the Panchen Lama built a memorial Stupa which he consecrated and inaugurated to replace the silver stupas of the past Panchen Lamas, destroyed during the cultural revolution. Shortly after this ceremony, on 28th January 1989, The Panchen Lama passed away in Tashi Lhunpo Monastery.
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Re: Free His Holiness 11th Panchen Lama, Gedun Chökyi Nyima

Postby muni » Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:59 am

_/\_ _/\_ _/\_ :buddha1:
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Re: Free His Holiness 11th Panchen Lama, Gedun Chökyi Nyima

Postby phantom59 » Sun Dec 20, 2009 3:30 pm

It was in 1958, the beginning of mao’s “great leap forward,” and a year before the Dalai Lama fled Tibet. Freedom to practice Buddhism was deteriorating rapidly but I had no idea. The cadres who were stationed at Kumbum had been forcing all the monks at Kumbum to attend political sessions for months on end. But I guess because I was so young, I wasn’t required to attend. The monks particularly the monks in their teens and early twenties—were being successfully brainwashed by the chinese communists and trained to speak out against religion, landowners, reincarnates, teachers,

One day that winter, the communist cadres called the entire monastic community outside for a meeting in Kumbum’s central square. There were somewhere between 3,500 and 4,000 of us. Soldiers with guns surrounded the courtyard and lined the rooftops, their machine guns trained on us. Some of the monks who had been drilled by the communists began to shout slogans at the rest of us: “Time for revenge!” “Time to uncover the wrongs of religion!” It was the first time that I had witnessed thamzing—a chinese struggle session [that included denunciation, beating and sometimes murder.] The police grabbed a few of the most important lamas, including the Head Abbot of Kumbum, who was in his early sixties. They tied his hands behind his back with rope very tightly. He cried out. Young monks yanked him by the rope and pulled him toward the bottom step of the high stage so that everyone could see him. They yelled, “You are sucking our blood! You are eating our flesh!” The Abbot was sobbing. He was the first one at Kumbum to be treated like that.

Within an hour, the cadres had arrested and bound about a hundred additional lamas many Rinpoches all forced to stand at the front of the stage. Then the chinese began to beat them with whips and the handles of farm tools—shovels, hoes, whatever was around. After they finished beating them, they dragged them out of the square and into Chinese trucks that were waiting outside.Then the cadres came back into the square and arrested an even larger group of monks still sitting on the ground. In all, over five hundred monks and lamas were arrested and dragged away that day. My tutor, my housekeeper, my assistants all of them were pulled away from me where I was sitting. The only Rinpoches who were not arrested were very young boys like me age six to ten, something like that.

The meeting lasted until late in the afternoon. I was paralyzed. I had no idea what to do. I didn’t even know where I was supposed to go. It was the first time in my life that I hadn’t had adults to take care of me. The only thing I could think to do was to go back to my rooms. But when I got there, young monks had been moved into my space. My residence had been reorganized into a commune: Team Number One, it was called.In the following weeks, we were forced to cut up our maroon robes, dye them black or dark blue and re-fashion them into Mao suits. Those became our new uniforms. We had mandatory study groups every day endless the cadres taught us why religion was so bad, and why religious reform was so necessary, and why the most venerated lamas were the ones who most deserved thamzing. Basically, Kumbum became a school where children were taught to denounce monasteries and the elder lamas who ran them.

A few monks from Drepung Monastery came into the Barkhor District the old part of Lhasa and shouted “Free Tibet”. Four days later, several hundred monks from Sera Monastery marched on Barkhor and all hell broke loose. The chinese opened fire. Lhasa became a battleground. beijing sent the Panchen Lama to Lhasa to assess and to quell the situation.The mood was very ugly. The Panchen Lama headed up three teams flown out to Lhasa in a private jet. There were about one hundred of us: the religious team, which was the Panchen Lama’s handpicked group; the political team, which was comprised of communist cadres; and the police. You can imagine the tension on the airplane. There was the unspoken understanding that, if the Panchen Lama couldn’t clean up the mess, more drastic measures would be taken by the Central Government.The TAR [Tibet Autonomous Region] cadres arranged for a viewing at the Panchen Lama’s residence of videotapes taken during the demonstrations that would prove the Chinese were blameless. There was lots of footage of the monks shouting and demonstrating in the streets, but no coverage at all of how, exactly, the police were handling the Tibetans.

When it was over, the lights came on and the Panchen Lama looked around the room. He said, “That’s it? That’s all? Where are the police in all this?”
And then he got really mad. You should understand that the Panchen Lama could be very imposing when it suited him. He cast a big shadow. So he walked over to the guy who was operating the video and grabbed him by the collar and yanked him up to his feet and yelled at him.It must have been about midnight. The Panchen Lama said, “OK, let’s go!” and herded us out to the cars waiting outside. “Get into the cars!” he ordered. “All of you!” Off we went to TAR Headquarters—just five or ten minutes away—which was also the private residence of TAR party chief, hu jintao currently general secretary of the communist party of china.]

The Panchen Lama knocked on hu jintao’s front door. All of us Tibetans were a little proud at that moment. It was such an unusual feeling to watch a high ranking member of the Party being bullied by a Tibetan!hu actually came to the door in his pajamas. Personally, the Panchen Lama and Hu were friends at that time, so when hu saw him, he called him “Great Master” or something like that and was very shocked and asked what in the world had happened.The Panchen Lama said, “Do you trust me or not? If you don’t trust me, I can go back to beijing. I can leave tonight! If you don’t want me to investigate, then you report back to the central government!”

The Panchen Lama I’ve never seen someone so brave. The next thing I knew, everybody was making phone calls. The Panchen Lama was calling beijing. hu jintao was calling his police. A little later, a chinese guy came to Hu’s residence and produced a tape and gave it to the Panchen Lama. This version of the demonstrations was entirely different. This time, we could see chinese police all along the rooftop of the Jokhang. Then the monks came crowding down the street. The police started yelling very bad things down at the monks, and then we saw the police open fire on the monks.After seeing this version the Panchen Lama confronted the police, “Why would you start shooting the people? You are supposed to represent and protect the people.” The Panchen Lama could be fearless.

t one point, the Panchen Lama gave a long speech and much of it was critical of the chinese government. It was a political speech. But it was given in the context of recent history. In other words, he recounted many bad things that happened during the Cultural Revolution and then cautioned the chinese government to take heed of its own mistakes and to avoid them in the future. As always, he had to be careful when he did this.People have accused the chinese of killing the Panchen Lama because of that particular speech, but I don’t think that’s logical. They kill him because of one speech? I don’t think so. For one thing, anytime the Panchen Lama was scheduled to give a public message, first he had to submit a draft of his speech to be approved by the chinese censors so, really, that one speech could not have come as a big surprise.

Anyway, the celebration lasted for two weeks. The night before everyone returned to their own monasteries, we had a big party. Everyone was so happy! The next day my group left. My group was returning overland to Kumbum. We had just arrived at a place north of Lhasa when we heard a radio broadcast that announced the unexpected passing of the Panchen Lama. We were stunned. Speechless. Every Tibetan felt torn apart. And suspicious.I was told that after the big party, the Panchen Lama complained that he was feeling uncomfortable. A doctor came in and gave him a pill and that was it. The next morning, early in the morning, they discovered him in his room and he had passed away, apparently in his sleep.

But there is something very interesting beyond that. Gyayak Rinpoche’s assistant told me that when they visited his body that morning, the Panchen Lama’s face was very calm and beautiful. They began doing prayers for him. But when the chinese found out, they brought in guys who tried to resuscitate the dead body nearly all day! Until four o’clock in the afternoon! They just would not leave his body alone. Why would they do that? Is that not a little strange? From 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.nine hours of resuscitation?

From the very beginning of the process, there were so many obstacles created by the chinese government in choosing the future Panchen Lama. Number one: They made it quite clear that they intended to be part of the election process. In the first stages, they seemed open to speaking to the Dalai Lama. They formed two teams: the political and the religious team. I was appointed Secretary of the Religious Selection Committee. But there was also the problem with the Tibetan community as well.

Before I go on, I think I should mention something about the character of the Tibetan people in general. They have a kind of weakness when it comes to harmony with one another. Our mind process is like this: I’m from Amdo, you’re from UTsang, he’s from Khampa; we are all different separate. Tibetans don’t really think of themselves as one big family. So right from the beginning, there were regional rivalries that played into the selection of candidates for the Eleventh Panchen Lama. To make matters worse, Gyayak Rinpoche, who was initially head of the religious team and a very powerful influence, became ill, was hospitalized, out of the picture, and things went downhill from there.

I don’t think any of us had ever seen the Golden Urn before. This was a chinese thing something mentioned in old chinese history books but I don’t think it was ever used, at least in Tibetan ceremonies. If you go to chinese temples, you can see these kinds of urns with sticks inside that they once used to divine the future.

The urn they had flown to Lhasa was impressive. Bigger than a basketball, with a stem, like on a goblet. Inside, there was a vase within the larger urn. And in this smaller vessel, there were three ivory sticks about a foot long and one inch wide. The nominees names had been typed on paper except for the Dalai Lama’s choice of course. The altar attendants they weren’t the regular altar monks glued the papers to the ivory sticks, pulled tight-fitting gold silk covers down over the sticks, and replaced them into the urn.

Bumi Rinpoche, who was the president of the Buddhist Association of TAR, was asked to come forward and select a stick. He did as he was told, then handed it to the head official who, after inspecting it, handed it over to the official next to him, and so on, over to the next representative from beijing.

The event was televised. Later, when we saw the video on TV, we could easily see that the stick that was chosen was a little longer the others. Obviously, this raised everyone’s suspicions. Not that we weren’t already suspicious .
phantom59
 
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Re: Free His Holiness 11th Panchen Lama, Gedun Chökyi Nyima

Postby phantom59 » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:45 am

It was in 1958, the beginning of mao’s “great leap forward,” and a year before the Dalai Lama fled Tibet. Freedom to practice Buddhism was deteriorating rapidly but I had no idea. The cadres who were stationed at Kumbum had been forcing all the monks at Kumbum to attend political sessions for months on end. But I guess because I was so young, I wasn’t required to attend. The monks particularly the monks in their teens and early twenties—were being successfully brainwashed by the chinese communists and trained to speak out against religion, landowners, reincarnates, teachers,

One day that winter, the communist cadres called the entire monastic community outside for a meeting in Kumbum’s central square. There were somewhere between 3,500 and 4,000 of us. Soldiers with guns surrounded the courtyard and lined the rooftops, their machine guns trained on us. Some of the monks who had been drilled by the communists began to shout slogans at the rest of us: “Time for revenge!” “Time to uncover the wrongs of religion!” It was the first time that I had witnessed thamzing, a chinese communist struggle session that included denunciation, beating and sometimes murder. The police grabbed a few of the most important lamas, including the Head Abbot of Kumbum, who was in his early sixties. They tied his hands behind his back with rope—very tightly. He cried out. Young monks yanked him by the rope and pulled him toward the bottom step of the high stage so that everyone could see him. They yelled, “You are sucking our blood! You are eating our flesh!” The Abbot was sobbing. He was the first one at Kumbum to be treated like that.

Within an hour, the cadres had arrested and bound about a hundred additional lamas—many Rinpoches—all forced to stand at the front of the stage. Then the Chinese began to beat them with whips and the handles of farm tools—shovels, hoes, whatever was around. After they finished beating them, they dragged them out of the square and into Chinese trucks that were waiting outside.Then the cadres came back into the square and arrested an even larger group of monks still sitting on the ground. In all, over five hundred monks and lamas were arrested and dragged away that day. My tutor, my housekeeper, my assistants—all of them were pulled away from me where I was sitting. The only Rinpoches who were not arrested were very young boys like me age six to ten, something like that.

The meeting lasted until late in the afternoon. I was paralyzed. I had no idea what to do. I didn’t even know where I was supposed to go. It was the first time in my life that I hadn’t had adults to take care of me. The only thing I could think to do was to go back to my rooms. But when I got there, young monks had been moved into my space. My residence had been reorganized into a commune: Team Number One, it was called.In the following weeks, we were forced to cut up our maroon robes, dye them black or dark blue and re-fashion them into Mao suits. Those became our new uniforms. We had mandatory study groups every day endless the cadres taught us why religion was so bad, and why religious reform was so necessary, and why the most venerated lamas were the ones who most deserved thamzing. Basically, Kumbum became a school where children were taught to denounce monasteries and the elder lamas who ran them.

A few monks from Drepung Monastery came into the Barkhor District the old part of Lhasa and shouted “Free Tibet”. Four days later, several hundred monks from Sera Monastery marched on Barkhor and all hell broke loose. The chinese opened fire. Lhasa became a battleground. beijing sent the Panchen Lama to Lhasa to assess and to quell the situation.

The mood was very ugly. The Panchen Lama headed up three teams flown out to Lhasa in a private jet. There were about one hundred of us: the religious team, which was the Panchen Lama’s handpicked group; the political team, which was comprised of communist cadres; and the police. You can imagine the tension on the airplane. There was the unspoken understanding that, if the Panchen Lama couldn’t clean up the mess, more drastic measures would be taken by the Central Government.

The TAR [Tibet Autonomous Region] cadres arranged for a viewing at the Panchen Lama’s residence of videotapes taken during the demonstrations that would prove the Chinese were blameless. There was lots of footage of the monks shouting and demonstrating in the streets, but no coverage at all of how, exactly, the police were handling the Tibetans.
When it was over, the lights came on and the Panchen Lama looked around the room. He said, “That’s it? That’s all? Where are the police in all this?”

And then he got really mad. You should understand that the Panchen Lama could be very imposing when it suited him. He cast a big shadow. So he walked over to the guy who was operating the video and grabbed him by the collar and yanked him up to his feet and yelled at him.It must have been about midnight. The Panchen Lama said, “OK, let’s go!” and herded us out to the cars waiting outside. “Get into the cars!” he ordered. “All of you!” Off we went to TAR Headquarters—just five or ten minutes away—which was also the private residence of TAR Party Chief, Hu Jintao [currently General Secretary of the Communist Party of China.]

The Panchen Lama knocked on hu jintao’s front door. All of us Tibetans were a little proud at that moment. It was such an unusual feeling to watch a high ranking member of the Party being bullied by a Tibetan!hu actually came to the door in his pajamas. Personally, the Panchen Lama and Hu were friends at that time, so when hu saw him, he called him “Great Master” or something like that and was very shocked and asked what in the world had happened.The Panchen Lama said, “Do you trust me or not? If you don’t trust me, I can go back to Beijing. I can leave tonight! If you don’t want me to investigate, then you report back to the central government!”

The Panchen Lama I’ve never seen someone so brave. The next thing I knew, everybody was making phone calls. The Panchen Lama was calling beijing. hu jintao was calling his police. A little later, a chinese guy came to Hu’s residence and produced a tape and gave it to the Panchen Lama. This version of the demonstrations was entirely different. This time, we could see chinese police all along the rooftop of the Jokhang. Then the monks came crowding down the street. The police started yelling very bad things down at the monks, and then we saw the police open fire on the monks.After seeing this version the Panchen Lama confronted the police, “Why would you start shooting the people? You are supposed to represent and protect the people.” The Panchen Lama could be fearless.

t one point, the Panchen Lama gave a long speech and much of it was critical of the chinese government. It was a political speech. But it was given in the context of recent history. In other words, he recounted many bad things that happened during the Cultural Revolution and then cautioned the chinese government to take heed of its own mistakes and to avoid them in the future. As always, he had to be careful when he did this.People have accused the chinese of killing the Panchen Lama because of that particular speech, but I don’t think that’s logical. They kill him because of one speech? I don’t think so. For one thing, anytime the Panchen Lama was scheduled to give a public message, first he had to submit a draft of his speech to be approved by the chinese censors so, really, that one speech could not have come as a big surprise.

Anyway, the celebration lasted for two weeks. The night before everyone returned to their own monasteries, we had a big party. Everyone was so happy! The next day my group left. My group was returning overland to Kumbum. We had just arrived at a place north of Lhasa when we heard a radio broadcast that announced the unexpected passing of the Panchen Lama. We were stunned. Speechless. Every Tibetan felt torn apart. And suspicious.I was told that after the big party, the Panchen Lama complained that he was feeling uncomfortable. A doctor came in and gave him a pill and that was it. The next morning, early in the morning, they discovered him in his room and he had passed away, apparently in his sleep.

But there is something very interesting beyond that. Gyayak Rinpoche’s assistant told me that when they visited his body that morning, the Panchen Lama’s face was very calm and beautiful. They began doing prayers for him. But when the Chinese found out, they brought in guys who tried to resuscitate the dead body nearly all day! Until four o’clock in the afternoon! They just would not leave his body alone. Why would they do that? Is that not a little strange? From 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.nine hours of resuscitation?

From the very beginning of the process, there were so many obstacles created by the chinese government in choosing the future Panchen Lama. Number one: They made it quite clear that they intended to be part of the election process. In the first stages, they seemed open to speaking to the Dalai Lama. They formed two teams: the political and the religious team. I was appointed Secretary of the Religious Selection Committee. But there was also the problem with the Tibetan community as well.

Before I go on, I think I should mention something about the character of the Tibetan people in general. They have a kind of weakness when it comes to harmony with one another. Our mind process is like this: I’m from Amdo, you’re from UTsang, he’s from Khampa; we are all different separate. Tibetans don’t really think of themselves as one big family. So right from the beginning, there were regional rivalries that played into the selection of candidates for the Eleventh Panchen Lama. To make matters worse, Gyayak Rinpoche, who was initially head of the religious team and a very powerful influence, became ill, was hospitalized, out of the picture, and things went downhill from there.

I don’t think any of us had ever seen the Golden Urn before. This was a chinese thing something mentioned in old chinese history books but I don’t think it was ever used, at least in Tibetan ceremonies. If you go to chinese temples, you can see these kinds of urns with sticks inside that they once used to divine the future.

The urn they had flown to Lhasa was impressive. Bigger than a basketball, with a stem, like on a goblet. Inside, there was a vase within the larger urn. And in this smaller vessel, there were three ivory sticks about a foot long and one inch wide. The nominees names had been typed on paper except for the Dalai Lama’s choice of course. The altar attendants they weren’t the regular altar monks glued the papers to the ivory sticks, pulled tight-fitting gold silk covers down over the sticks, and replaced them into the urn.

Bumi Rinpoche, who was the president of the Buddhist Association of TAR, was asked to come forward and select a stick. He did as he was told, then handed it to the head official who, after inspecting it, handed it over to the official next to him, and so on, over to the next representative from beijing.

The event was televised. Later, when we saw the video on TV, we could easily see that the stick that was chosen was a little longer the others. Obviously, this raised everyone’s suspicions. Not that we weren’t already suspicious .
phantom59
 
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Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:30 am

Re: Free His Holiness 11th Panchen Lama, Gedun Chökyi Nyima

Postby phantom59 » Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:47 am

A secret report obtained by TIN documents mass arrests, political executions and man made starvation in Tibet in the early 1960s, and shows that the top Tibetans who collaborated with the chinese had deep misgivings about chinese policies in Tibet, some of which have recently reemerged.

The report attributes mass starvation among Tibetans at the time to government directives, and, four years before the cultural revolution, expresses fears that chinese policies were aimed at the eradication of religion and could lead to the elimination of Tibetans as a distinct people.

The document is possibly the most extensive contemporary criticism of chinese communist policies ever submitted to the leadership, other than from within the party, and is said to have been described by mao zedong as "a poisoned arrow shot at the party by reactionary feudal overlords". It was later judged to have exceeded the criticism levelled at the party by the famous 10,000 character letter of General peng dehuai which led to his downfall in 1959.

The report was written by the former Panchen Lama, the most important religious leader remaining in Tibet as well as the head of the then Tibetan government, who presented it to china's premier, zhou enlai, on 18th May, 1962. For some three months li weihan, head of china's united front department, took initial steps to implement the report's suggestions, but in August that year mao called for the resumption of class struggle and in October li was criticised for his links with the Panchen Lama. In the same month the Panchen Lama was ordered to undertake a self criticism, and a year later was subjected to a 50 day long struggle session in Lhasa before being sent to beijing, where he spent 14 of the following 15 years in detention or under virtual house arrest.

The Panchen Lama was 'fully rehabilitated' only in 1988, the year before he died. His report, known as "the 70,000 Character Petition", remains secret and has never before been seen outside inner party circles in china. Its release will have wide implications in Tibet, where it will undermine any claims that the Panchen Lama was an unquestioning follower of the communist party. The party is currently involved in controversial attempts to force Tibetans to accept an 8 year old child whom it has unilaterally declared to be the Panchen Lama's successor, and to reform the thinking of monks and nuns.

Publication of the 1962 report, whose proposals were in effect implemented in 1980 by the chinese reformer hu yaobang, could also have impact on leadership politics in china, where hu's successor zhao ziyang remains under house arrest in beijing.

The 120 page document, divided into eight sections, gives details of the situation in all Tibetan-inhabited areas after inspection tours there by the Panchen Lama in 1961 and early 1962. One of its major criticisms was the excessive punishment imposed by the authorities to avenge the 1959 Uprising in Tibet. "We have no way of knowing how many have been arrested. In each area 10,000 or more have been arrested. Good and bad, innocent or guilty, they have all been arrested, contrary to any legal system that exists anywhere in the world. ... In some areas the majority of men have been arrested and jailed so that most of the work is done by women, old people and children," says the report.

It alleges that there was a policy of collective punishment, by which Tibetans had been executed because their relatives were involved in the uprising, and it accuses officials of deliberately subjecting political prisoners to harsh conditions so that they would die. "Even family members of the rebels were ordered to be killed. ... Officials deliberately put people in jail under conditions which they are not used to so that there were a large number of abnormal deaths", it says.

The primary concern of the report, however, was to persuade the beijing leadership to stop Tibetans dying from starvation, especially in Eastern Tibet, where communes had already been established. "Above all you have to guarantee that the people will not die from starvation," says the petition's final paragraph, addressing Premier zhou.

"In many parts of Tibet people have starved to death.. . . In some places, whole families have perished and the death rate is very high. This is very abnormal, horrible and grave. In the past Tibet lived in a dark barbaric feudalism but there was never such a shortage of food, especially after Buddhism had spread," the Panchen Lama wrote. "The masses in the Tibetan areas were living in conditions of such extreme poverty that the old and young mostly starved to death or were so weak that they had no resistance to disease and died," he adds.

He noted that, as a result of the decision to force people to eat in communal kitchens, people were allowed a ration of around 5 oz (180 gms) of grain per day, supplemented by grass, leaves and tree bark. "This terrible ration is not enough to sustain life and people are forced to suffer terrible pangs of hunger," he wrote, adding that people were still being forced to do hard labour, especially released prisoners. "There was never such an event in the history of Tibet. People could not even imagine such horrible starvation in their dreams. In some areas if one person catches a cold, then it spreads to hundreds and large numbers simply die."

In a crucial passage the Panchen Lama makes it clear that these deaths were a result of official policies, not of any natural disasters, as mao was claiming to his foreign visitors, a claim still accepted by some western sinologists. "In Tibet from 1959-1961, for two years almost all animal husbandry and farming stopped. The nomads have no grain to eat and the farmers have no meat, butter or salt. It is prohibited to transport any food or material, people are even stopped from going around and their personal tsampa roast barley bags are confiscated and many people are struggled against in public," he says. He goes on to describe a meeting he convened in qinghai where villagers told him deaths could have been avoided and good harvests achieved "if the state allowed us to eat our fill".

The Panchen Lama also expresses in his petition concerns that chinese communist policies were threatening the survival of the Tibetans as a nationality. "The population of Tibet has been seriously reduced. Not only is this damaging to the prosperity of the Tibetan race but it poses a grave danger to the very existence of the Tibetan race and could even push the Tibetans to the last breath," he wrote

The report attacks china's ultranationalist and religious policies, and even suggests that they too could lead to the extinction of the Tibetans as a people. "If the language, clothes and customs of a nationality are taken away then that nationality will vanish and be transformed into another nationality. How can we guarantee that Tibetans will not be turned into another race?" he asked.

It was this which was regarded as the most dangerous point made in the document, together with his critique of religious policy. Although he fully supported efforts to reform monasteries, and blamed all abuses on local leftists who had ignored instructions by the beijing leadership, the Panchen Lama suggested that the party was trying to eliminate religion. He insisted that religion was an absolute right and implied that any attempt to remove it altogether would lead to serious unrest, if not rebellion

"The cadres are using a few people to denounce religion and mistakenly taking this as the views of the whole Tibetan masses, with the result that they mistakenly think the conditions for the elimination of religion itself are ripe. ... Therefore the enlightenment-endowing Buddhist religion that flourishes throughout Tibet seems to be on the verge of being erased in front of our eyes from the land of Tibet. There is no way that I and 90% of the Tibetans will tolerate this".

The Panchen Lama's 1962 petition was based on the premise that the special characteristics of Tibet should be taken into account by policymakers. This premise was central to deng xiaoping's policies in china during the 1980s and allowed the Panchen Lama to introduce many liberalisations in Tibet. In early 1992 the Party withdrew the "special characteristics" concession and, in the current efforts to limit religious worship, to appoint political loyalists to monastery committees, and to restrict language teaching, has since been reversing some of the religious and cultural liberalisations initiated by hu and requested by the Panchen Lama.
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Re: Free His Holiness 11th Panchen Lama, Gedun Chökyi Nyima

Postby mindyourmind » Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:49 am

It would take so little to unclench the fist, and to let him, and all other similar "religious / political" prisoners go free.
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Re: Free His Holiness 11th Panchen Lama, Gedun Chökyi Nyima

Postby BFS » Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:19 pm

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Re: Free His Holiness 11th Panchen Lama, Gedun Chökyi Nyima

Postby justsit » Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:17 pm

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