Wednesday, April 25, marked the 18th birthday of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, a Tibetan child who was named the 11th reincarnation of the Panchen Lama in 1995 by Tenzin Gyatso, the current Dalai Lama and leader of the exile government known as Central Tibetan Administration. This choice quickly became the center of political controversy, with the Chinese government of the Tibet Autonomous Region subsequently supporting the selection of Gyancain Norbu. The exiled Tibetan leadership has since alleged that Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and his family are being held as political prisoners in China.
This dispute was the focus of the UW-Madison chapter of conducted a banner drop on the pedestrian bridge over University Avenue that links the UW's Humanities Building and Vilas Hall.
This demonstration by the student organization comes in the midst of a flurry of activity surrounding the upcoming visit to the university by the Dalai Lama. He will be speaking at the Kohl Center on the afternoon of Friday, May 4; he is also scheduled to visit the construction site of a new temple at the video clip of the banner drop follows below.
More information about Buddhism in Madison can be found in Dairyland Dharma: A budding Buddhist explores the local terrain, the cover story in this week's Isthmus, while ongoing coverage and commentary about Tibetan political issues can be found in the Isthmus YouTube group or send a message.