Legal Materials on Tibet
European Parliament

European Parliament Resolution on the Panchen Lama and Religious Freedom in Tibet (1995) [p.310]



18(b) B4-1499. 1516. 1522, 1544 and 1556/95

Resolution on the selection of the Panchen Lama and religious freedom in Tibet

The European Parliament,

A. deploring generally the Chinese authorities' relentless persecution of Tibetan Buddhist monks,

B. noting that the Government of the People's Republic of China has announced the selection of a new Panchen Lama, attempting to overrule the Dalai Lama's choice of five months ago, thereby disregarding the religious traditions of the Tibetan people and politicizing an issue that has always been a strictly religious matter throughout the history of Tibet,

C. stressing that this action by the Chinese is liable to create serious unrest in Tibetan society,

D. recalling that on 14 May 1995 the Dalai Lama, freely exercising the powers he enjoys by virtue of his spiritual role, had already recognized Gedhun Choekyi Nyima as being the new reincarnation of the Panchen Lama,

E. whereas Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and his parents, as well as the monk who identified him as the Panchen Lama, have not been seen in public since July 1995,

F. expressing its dismay that the actions of the Chinese authorities represent a further erosion of the principle of freedom of religion,

G. having regard to the riots which followed the government's decision and the ruthlessness with which they were quelled,

1. Condemns China's intervention in the nomination of the candidate for the title of Panchen Lama, which is strictly a religious matter, as well as the forced appointment of the candidate imposed by the Chinese authorities;

2. Urges the Chinese authorities to respect the wishes of the Tibetan people by accepting the Panchen Lama as recognized by the Dalai Lama;

3. Requests the Government of the People's Republic of China immediately to allow Union diplomats to meet Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and his parents, as well as the monk mentioned above, in order to ensure that they are safe;

4. Calls on the Chinese authorities to undertake not to pressure or intimidate Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and his family in any way, particularly as regards his freedom to perform his spiritual role as the Panchen Lama and thus his free access to the education necessary for this role;

5. Calls on the Chinese authorities to accord full freedom of movement and worship to Tibetan monks, and to respect the Tashi Lumpo monastery, the historical seat of the Panchen Lama;

6. Calls on the representatives of the Council and the Commission to exert strong diplomatic or other pressure on the Chinese authorities to put an end to their unacceptable treatment of the Tibetan people;

7. Believes that the final decision to proceed with the European Union's Panam project in Tibet should not be taken until such time as the requests in this resolution are met;

8. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments of the Member States, the Dalai Lama, the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Tibetan Government in exile.

Tibet Justice Center Home | Legal Materials on Tibet | European Parliament