(TibetanReview.net, Sep21’19) – The Chinese govenrment-appointed 11th ‘Panchen Lama’ Gyaltsen Norbu has concluded on Sep 20 what may be his longest tour of Tibet thus far. During his three-month trip to Lhasa, Xigaze (Tibetan: Shigatse), Nagqu (Nagchu) and Ngari, the ‘Panchen Lama’ studied the significant achievements Tibet had made in economic and social development since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 2012, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Sep 20.
China appointed Gyaltsen Norbu as the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama after taking away and rendering disappeared the six-year-old Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the reincarnation recognized by Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, in Apr 1995. The latter has remained disappeared, along with his family, ever since.
The report noted that the ‘Panchen Lama’ visited a memorial hall commemorating the emancipation of more than one million serfs in Tibet, learning the sea changes brought to Tibet after the democratic reform six decades ago, especially in poverty relief and people’s livelihood improvement over the past seven years.
Referring to his other visits, the report continued that the ‘Panchen Lama’ also visited the Jokhang Temple, expounded on the Buddhist sutras at the Tibet Buddhism Academy, held a prayer meeting and performed head-touching rituals at the Tashilhunpo Monastery, paid religious homage to Mount Kangrinboqe (Ghang Rinpoche) and Lake Mapam Yumco (Mapham Yutso), among others.
The report cited the ‘Panchen Lama’ as saying he will pass on and promote the fine traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, including loving the country and the religion, as well as safeguarding the country and benefiting the people.
It cited him as having vowed to resolutely uphold national unity and ethnic solidarity.
The report noted that the ‘Panchen Lama’ was 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.
Like in the case of the late 10th Panchen Lama, who was on occasions highly critical of the Chinese rule in Tibet, which earned him imprisonment and torture, China requires its 11th ‘Panchen Lama’ to live in Beijing.