(TibetanReview.net, Oct17, 2018) – This has probably been the longest visit by far for the Chinese government-appointed 11th Panchen Lama Gyaltsen Norbu who otherwise lives in Beijing and there have been only few English-language media reports about it. China’s official Xinhua news agency said Oct 16 that the 11th Panchen Lama Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu returned to Beijing that day after three months of Buddhist activities in Tibet Autonomous Region where he visited Buddhist sites and conducted rituals.
The report said Gyaltsen Norbu visited several monasteries, held Buddhist activities and met believers in Lhasa, Xigaze (Tibetan: Shigatse) and Shannan (Lhokha) Cities during his stay. He was stated to have performed head-touching rituals to give blessings to tens of thousands of believers in Tibet.
In Shannan in mid-August, Gyaltsen Norbu was stated to have paid his first visit to Lhamo Lhatso, a sacred lake best known most recently for having yielded clues for the discovery of the present Dalai Lama. The Chinese media report at the time said Gyaltsen Norbu held a worshipping ceremony at the lake that lasted about an hour.
In Xigaze, he was stated to have attended a donation ceremony and visited some local seedling bases, vegetable greenhouses and workshops.
In Lhasa he was also stated to have visited a local farm and a relocated village.
Tipped to play a prominent official role in the recognition of a Chinese 15th Dalai Lama reincarnation, Gyaltsen Norbu currently holds titular posts as a vice president of the Buddhist Association of China and as a member of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, China’s top, but only a rubberstamp, political advisory body.