Dharamsala: The Speaker of the Tibetan parliament-in-exile, Pempa Tsering, has said that China should allow international agencies to see the Panchen Lama, the successor of their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
Tsering was reacting to a statement made by the new Chinese-appointed governor of Tibet, Padma Choling, an ethnic Tibetan appointed in January on Sunday that the Panchen Lama is safe and is living in Tibet.
"If they (Chinese) are really serious about what they are saying, I think they should allow international agencies, neutral agencies to see how he (Panchen Lama) is staying, what kind of studies he is getting. And, we are for sure that he is not in Tibet, that`s for sure, must be somewhere in China, if he is alive, that we don`t know. So, there`s no evidence and as long (as) there is no evidence we don`t see anything new in what they have stated so far," Tsering said.
The Dalai Lama`s selection of the Panchen Lama, a six-year-old boy, led to Beijing swiftly picking him up and taking him away.
Human rights groups dubbed the child as "the world`s youngest political prisoner".
Tsering further said that if such statements about the Panchen Lama are made by China, then they should be supported with evidence.
"We have always been demanding that if they are making such statements it should come up with evidence, it should come with proof, at least have some photographs to say that this is Panchen Lama and he is studying and so. Even if they can`t divulge where he is studying, at least they can say that he is safe and there should be some photograph or evidence or if possible there should be neutral people to go and meet him and his family," he said.
China has defended its iron-fisted rule in Tibet, saying not only did it free a million Tibetan serfs but it also poured billions of dollars into the Himalayan region for development.