Tibetans residing in the New York and New Jersey area observed the 28th birthday of the 11th Panchen Lama Gedun Choekyi Nyima, who at the age of six was abducted by the Chinese government making him one of the world's youngest political prisoner.
The day was observed with a special prayer organized by the Regional Tibetan Women’s Association of New York and New Jersey for the well-being of the young Panchen and arranged a birthday cake-cutting ceremony on the occasion of his 28th birthday. “We strongly request the international community and the Chinese government to release all the political prisoners including the 11th Panchen Lama.”, said Mrs. Phurbu Dolma, the president of the Regional Tibetan Women’s Association.
A protest was organized in front of the United Nations Headquarters in New York City by the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress of New York and New Jersey. The aim of the protest was to urge the world leaders to pressure China into respecting human rights and to provide information on the missing Panchen Lama.
In an interview with the President of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress, Mr. Tenzin Kalden said, “As the Panchen Lama turns 28 today, Tibetans from all three provinces inside Tibet and the diaspora wish him a long life and a very happy birthday; may the Panchen Lama successfully continue to carry out the works and wishes of the 10th Panchen Lama."