''Memoranda have been sent to the Chinese government and the United Nations demanding his immediate release,'' Tibetan government-in-exile Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche said in a release. He said the Tibetan government prayed for Gedun Choekyi Nyima's long life and firmly believed that the day would come when the Panchen Lama, who turned 19 on Friday, would have the opportunity to resume the service of his predecessor.
''We must firmly hold on to our beliefs, for a day will come when Gedun Choekyi Nyima will return to his seat at Tashi Lhunpo monastery to serve the 'dharma' and humanity.'' ''Besides, the Tibetan people should avail the opportunity to study the tenth Panchen Lama's great service to both the land and inhabitants of the Land of Snows,'' he added.
Choekyi Nyima, last seen in May 1995, days after the Dalai Lama proclaimed him Panchen Lama, is believed to have been under house arrest, along with his family, at an unknown location, somewhere in the vicinity of Beijing.
Despite repeated appeals, no international agency or human rights organisation has been granted access to the boy or his family to verify his well-being.