Tibet’s Stolen Child (the Panchen Lama)

Tibet's Stolen Child

The second highest ranked monastic in Tibet is the Panchen Lama. The Dalai Lama will often help in the Panchen Lama’s education, and the Panchen Lama help educate the new Dalai lama.

In rather suspicious circumstances the 10th Panchen Lama, Choekyi Gyaltsen, died in 1989, shortly after speaking out about Chinese repression of Tibetan culture, aged only 51.

A search was then initiated for his successor, who has traditionally been confirmed by the Dalai Lama. In 1995 His Holiness confirmed the 6-year old Gedhun Choekyi Nyima as the reincarnation, but several days after the announcement the boy and his family disappeared, and still 20 years later there is no news of his whereabouts.

This film must have been made around the year 2000, as far as I can judge by internal references (no date is shown), not so very long after the abduction, and while the issue was still very critical.

Many of the people appearing in the film come from other, and more successful, liberation struggles around the world, to offer support for the Tibetan cause, and particularly for the freeing of the young boy.

They include the socialist leader George Fernandes from India, the historian Huston Smith, holocaust survivor Elie Weisel, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Jose Ramos-Horta who led the East Timorians to independence.

Many other people including Tibetan leaders were interviewed for the film, but despite all the publicity surrounding the issue the Chinese Government still refuses to release the family, or even let people know where they are.


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