As Tibetans across the world set to celebrate the 87th birthday of the Dalai Lama on July 6, there are various questions that come up in the minds of their supporters.
The questions include — What has he achieved in his six-decade-long self-chosen exile? Was his decision to escape from Tibet a right one? What will happen to the cause of Tibet after him? and What are the challenges he has to meet and settle before his next incarnation takes over the mantle?
In March 1959 when the Dalai Lama escaped from Tibet, about 80,000 Tibetans followed him in exile, Tibet Press reported.
He has also established a universal franchise-based democratic political system for his exile community which regularly elects its Parliament and the ‘Sikyong’ (an equivalent amalgam of President and Prime Minister) through a secret vote by Tibetans living in over 70 countries at present times.
This ‘Central Tibetan Administration’ (CTA), a clever misnomer for ‘Tibetan Government-in-Exile’, works from India’s Himalayan town of Dharamshala and has every branch of a government accepts the departments like Rail, Mail and Jail.
The Tibet community is being persecuted by the Chinese authority in the country.
More than two decades since the 11th Panchen Lama was abducted and kidnapped. Tibetans around the world and most ardently those in Tibet, still hope to see him in person again.
Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was born on April 25, 1989, in Lhari County. After the death of the 10th Panchen Lama, the Dalai Lama chose Gedhun on May 14, 1995, to be the 11th Panchen Lama, which is the second-highest position in Tibetan Buddhism.
In May 2007, Asma Jahangir, then-United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, suggested that the Chinese government allow an independent expert to visit and confirm Gedhun’s well-being.
On July 17, 2007, the Chinese authorities said that he is a “perfectly ordinary Tibetan boy” attending school and leading a normal life and that he “does not wish to be disturbed.” Authorities say that the state employs both of his parents and that his brothers and sisters are either working or at university.
Moreover, kidnapping the 11th Panchen Lama clearly emphasized their stand as to how even those with high standing and popular support were not beyond the reaches of the party.