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China’s Panchen celebrates ‘doctoral’ degree with border security donation

(TibetanReview.net, Oct31’21) – The Chinese government-appointed 11th Panchen Lama Gyincain Norbu has on Oct 29 donated 1 million yuan (about 156,000 US dollars) to people living in the border areas of Tibet for among other purposes strengthening national borders, according to China’s official Xinhua news agency Oct 30.

The funds for the donation came from money gifted by people from all walks of life after the “Panchen Lama” on Oct 26 attained the highest degree in the exoteric teachings of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism, the Kachen degree, equivalent to a doctoral degree, the report said.

He was stated to have earned his degree after more than 20 years of studying sutras, after completing a two-hour debate on Oct 26 at the Tashilhunpo Monastery in the city of Xigaze.

“Through the donation, I hope that more young representatives of Tibetan Buddhism will participate in social activities and contribute to national unity, ethnic unity, as well as stable and orderly social development,” Gyincain Norbu was quoted as saying at a ceremony in Tibet’s capital Lhasa.

The report said the donation will be used to consolidate the fruits of poverty alleviation, facilitate rural vitalization, and strengthen national borders.

Referring to his growing role in promoting China’s agenda on Tibetan affairs, the report said that over recent years, “the 11th Panchen Lama has ardently participated in public welfare activities.”

It noted that he was already a member of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the country’s top political advisory body; vice president of the Buddhist Association of China and president of the association’s Tibet branch.

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