Washington, April 27: The United States on Friday called on China to immediately release the 11th Panchen Lama, reportedly abducted by the Chinese authorities some two decades ago.
"On April 25, we marked the birthday of the 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, who has not appeared in public since he was reportedly abducted two decades ago by the Chinese government at age six," State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said.
She said the US is concerned about "eliminating" the religious, linguistic, and cultural identity of Tibetans by the Chinese authorities. We are also concerned about the ongoing "destruction" of communities of worship, such as the Larung Gar and Yachen Gar monasteries, Nauert said.
"We call on China to release Nyima immediately and to uphold its international commitments to promote religious freedom for all," she said.