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Beijing-appointed Panchen calls for national unity

(TibetanReview.net, Dec 6) — Gyaincain Norbu, the Chinese government-appointed 11th Panchen Lama, made one of his sporadic appearances in the official Chinese media on Dec 5, with the Xinhua news agency reporting he called on Buddhists to back national unity while touring Hunan Province from Nov 26 to Dec 4. It said Gyancain began his visit with a tour of a memorial for late Chairman Mao Zedong and Mao’s former residence in Shaoshan, a village-turned city. “Long Live Chairman Mao’s Spirit,” he was reported to have written in Tibetan on the desk on which Mao used to work.

He was reported to have presided over prayers at Fuyan Temple in Hengyang, a key city in southern Hunan, on Nov 27 and Lushan Temple in Changsha on Dec1.

“Buddhist believers should blend holy Buddhist doctrine with socialist construction, work for harmony with the society, and make due contributions for national unity, social stability and reunification of China,” the Xinhua report had him saying.

There was no suggestion as to when he might visit Tibet and the Tashi Lhundup Monastery, where he supposedly belongs, the latter as his seat.

Gyaincain was born on Feb 13, 1990 in Lhari county of Nagqu prefecture, Tibet. China had him appointed in Nov 1995 and enthroned on Dec 8, 1995 as the 11th Pannchen Lama as a deliberate snub against the Dalai Lama who had chosen Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, whom it kidnapped with his family, to be never seen again.

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