(TibetanReview.net, Sep11’20) – After concluding a 15-day visit mainly to his home town of Lhari County in Nagchu Prefecture on Aug 25, the Chinese government-appointed 11th Panchen Lama Gyaltsen Norbu has undertaken a 13-day tour of Nyingtri Prefecture, according to China’s official Xinhua news agency Sep 11. He concluded the second leg of his visit on Sep 9, the report said, adding he was continuing his Tibet tour after that.
He was reported to have arrived in the county seat of Medog on Aug 29 for the second leg of his visit, kicking off his first ever visit to the remote county. It said he visited the counties of Medog, Bome and Mainling to perform Buddhist rituals and undertake research on economic and social development in Nyingchi in recent years.
The report said he returned to Lhasa, capital of Tibet, on Sep 9 and would continue to undertake Buddhist and social activities during his stay in Tibet. It was not clear where he would travel next.
Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Shigatse prefecture is the traditional seat of the Panchen Lamas, although China required Gyaltsen Norbu to live in Beijing while undertaking occasional visits to the monastery.
His initial current tour began on Aug 10 with his arrival in Lhasa and then travel to Nagchu for his second ever visit to his hometown of Lhari there. Xinhua reported Aug 25 that he concluded that visit on Aug 25.
The Panchen Lama is the second most prominent religious figure in Tibet after the Dalai Lama. China appointed Gyaltsen Norbu as the 11th Panchen Lama after kidnapping Gedhun Choekyi Nyima and disappearing him forever, with hnis family, after the Dalai Lama had proclaimed the latter as the reincarnation of the late 10th Panchen Lama in 1995. China has since appointed Gyaltsen Norbu as a member of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a vice president of the Buddhist Association of China, and the president of the association’s Tibet branch.