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Press Statement: A World Record on the Panchen Lama’s 29th Birthday

Posted on April 25, 2018

Setting a world record on Panchen Lama's birthday for the most number of candles lit on a cake.
Setting a world record on Panchen Lama's birthday for the most number of candles lit on a cake.

Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, 25 April 2018

Contact Persons: 
Tenzin Tselha
National Director, Students for a Free Tibet India
+91 098827 86875

Khyelkhang Rinpoche,
Tashi Lhunpo Monastery
+91 9535959942


On the 29th birthday of the 11th Panchen Lama of Tibet – Gendun Choekyi Nyima – Students For a Free Tibet and the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery are attempting to set a new Guinness World Record for “The Most Candles Lit on a Birthday Cake.” The current record stands at 72,585 candles. We will attempt to light 130,000 candles on the cake – a number symbolic of the approximate population of Tibetans in exile.

Gendun Choekyi Nyima, one of the most important religious figures in Tibet, was just 6 years old when he, along with his family members, were abducted by Chinese authorities in 1995, making him the youngest political prisoner in the world.

The Panchen Lama’s disappearance has resulted in international outcry. World leaders and UN experts have condemned China’s enforced disappearance of the Panchen Lama and called for his release, but these appeals continue to go unheeded. For over two decades, the Chinese authorities have denied requests from governments and the United Nations for access to Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and his family, claiming that he leads a normal life and does not wish to be disturbed.

Through our attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most lit candles on a birthday cake, we will  bring international attention to the Panchen Lama’s dire situation and expose the oppressive policies through which the Chinese government controls the Tibetan people.

Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) works in solidarity with the Tibetan people in their struggle for freedom and independence. We are a chapter-based network of young people and activists around the world that campaign for Tibetans’ fundamental right to political freedom through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action. We work to empower and train youth as leaders in the worldwide movement for social justice.