Advertisements
//
you're reading...
Politics & Law

China shows off its own Panchen Lama on trip outside mainland


The 11th Panchen Lama, Gyaincain Norbu

A Tibetan youth named by Beijing as the 11th Panchen Lama, but reviled by many Tibetans as a fake, made his first trip outside mainland China on Thursday as he is groomed to become the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism after the Dalai Lama dies.

Gyaltsen Norbu, 22, was selected as a boy by officially atheist Beijing in 1995 as the second-highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism in its drive to win the hearts and minds of Tibetans.

Tibet’s current spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, had announced his own choice of a six-year-old boy, who was taken away by authorities and has since disappeared from public view, creating a crisis of legitimacy for devout Tibetans.

China reviles the Dalai Lama, who fled into exile in India in 1959 after an abortive uprising against Chinese rule, as a separatist. The Dalai Lama says he is merely seeking more autonomy for his Himalayan homeland.

China has gradually exposed its Panchen Lama in public roles in the hope he will achieve the respect commanded by the 76-year-old Dalai Lama among Tibetans and globally.

He took no questions on Thursday at a Buddhist forum in the former British colony of Hong Kong. He stayed away from controversy, mostly using esoteric terms to talk about Buddhism and its emphasis on inner peace to achieve social harmony.

“Current society values external science and technology over the inner sciences,” he said in Mandarin.

“The three vices contaminate the self. The sins spread and (spiritual) corruption becomes rampant. The body loses balance and the environment is tainted.”

Over the last year, there has been a wave of self-immolations by Tibetans protesting against Beijing’s control over Tibetan areas of China.

Activists say China violently stamps out religious freedom and culture in Tibet. China rejects the criticism, saying its rule has ended serfdom and brought development to a backward region.

Underscoring Beijing’s sensitivities about the Panchen Lama’s trip, he is getting round-the-clock police protection, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

The ruling Chinese Communist Party’s Central Bodyguards Bureau is providing him the protection accorded to officials holding a rank equivalent to a vice-premier, sources told Reuters, requesting anonymity.

“What compels Beijing to take this unprecedented measure appears to be the mounting number of Tibetan self-immolations,” said Lin Chong-Pin, a veteran China watcher at Taiwan’s private Tamkang University.

The 11th Panchen Lama spoke in Tibetan when he made his debut on the world stage at the first World Buddhist Forum in China in 2006 and in English when he graced the second in 2009.

Chinese troops marched into Tibet in 1950. After the Dalai Lama fled, the 10th Panchen Lama stayed on and was initially seen as a collaborator, but it later emerged that he spent over a decade either in prison or under house arrest for criticising Beijing.

He was freed in 1977 and politically rehabilitated the following year. He died in 1989.

Sisi Tang, and Benjamin Kang Lim
Reuters

Advertisements

About Craig Hill

General Manager at Craig Hill Training Services * Get an Australian diploma by studying in your own country * Get an Australian diploma using your overseas study and work experience * Diplomas can be used for work or study in Australia and other countries. * For more information go to www.craighill.net

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Advertisements

China Daily Mail

China Daily Mail is not affiliated in any way with The China Daily or the government of the People's Republic of China.

Enter your email address to receive an email each time an article is published, or join our RSS feed. 100% FREE.

Want to write for China Daily Mail?

Read “Contributor Guidelines” above to join our team of 76 contributors. Write news or opinion about issues in China, or post photos and video. Promote your own site.

Recent Posts

China Daily Mail Stories Have Been Featured In:

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: