TibetanReview.net, Feb 4, 2008
The Chinese appointed Panchen Lama Gyaltsen Norbu paid a formal visit to Mr Wu Bangguo, the chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), the Chinese parliament, on Jan 31, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency. Wu encouraged the 18-year-old “living Buddha” to take responsibility to enhance China’s reunification and do more things that could benefit the country, the report added. During the meeting, which took place in the Great Hall of People, Wu also asked Gyaltsen to further study policies made in the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which took place in Oct 2007.
On his part, Gyaltsen has reportedly said he had gained in-depth understanding of the CPC’s pursuit of interest for the common people after attending the 17th CPC National Congress as a non-voting delegate. He reportedly vowed to support the CPC’s leadership and make more contributions to the Tibetan economy and social harmony by guiding more religious work to adapt to China’s socialist society.
The meeting took place in the run up to the Chinese Spring Festival and Tibetan Losar, which were their respective New Years which this year fell on the same date of Feb 7.
Meanwhile, China hailed the late 10th Panchen Lama Choekyi Gyaltsen as “a great patriot, noted statesman, devoted friend of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and outstanding leader of Tibetan Buddhism” in an article in the People’s Daily newspaper Feb 3. It urged people to uphold his patriotic spirit and do a better job in Tibet.
The article commemorated what would have been his 70th birthday, said the official Xinhua news agency Feb 3. He died, reportedly of a heart attack, at 51 on Jan. 28, 1989, t the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, his traditional seat, in Shigatse.
The article said “the Panchen Lama, under the banner of patriotism, unity and progress, supported the central government’s policy of introducing democratic reform to Tibet”. It then sought to portray Gyaincain Norbu as his legitimate successor, referring to his confirmation on Nov 29, 1995 by the Chinese government. Xinhua said the “11th Panchen Lama” vowed to support the CPC’s leadership and make more contributions to the Tibetan economy and social harmony during his Jan 31 “formal visit to Wu Bangguo”.