Venerable Zeekyab Rinpoche, Abbot of the Tashi Lhunpo monastery in exile, accompanied by venerable Toblak, Rinpoche’s Assistant and Ms Dukthen Kyi, Head of Tibet Advocacy Section of the Department of International Relations, arrived to Belgium as part of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) led advocacy campaign for the 11th Panchen Lama, Jetsun Tenzin Gedhun Yeshi Trinlay Phuntsok Pelsangpo, commonly known as Gedhun Choekyi Nyima. Representative Rigzin Genkhang and Secretary Thinley Wangdue of the Office of Tibet, Brussels, received the delegation at the airport.
Rinpoche is scheduled to be in Brussels from 12-17 July 2022.
On the first day of his official engagements in Brussels, Zeekyab Rinpoche met with MEP Mikulas Peksa, President of the Tibet Interest Group (TIG) in the European Parliament. During the one-hour-and-a-half-meeting, Rinpoche briefed MEP Peksa on the special spiritual relationship between His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama and expressed grave concern over the wellbeing and whereabouts of the latter. This year marked the 27th anniversary of his enforced disappearance and despite continued pressure on China by the International Community the Chinese government continues to assert that he is well and that he does not want to be disturbed.
Rinpoche urged the European Parliament to pass a motion urging the EU to mandate its Ambassador to China to meet with the 11th Panchen Lama and ascertain his whereabouts and wellbeing among other things.
After the meeting, Rinpoche and the Tibetan delegation were given a quick tour of the European Parliament.
In the late afternoon, Rinpoche was received at Kagyu Samye Dzong by Mr Carlo Luyckx, Director of the Buddhist centre and President of the Belgian Buddhist Union, and Mr Ron Eichorn, President of the European Buddhist Union. Extensive discussions were held on all aspects of the Panchen Lama’s case. The meeting concluded with concrete and realistic action plans.
Rinpoche will attend the official reception of the Office of Tibet, Brussels, tomorrow and will continue his engagements till Sunday.
Representative Rigzin Genkhang accompanied the Tibetan delegation to all the meetings.