By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, September 16: The Dalai Lama has said that there is a need to delve into the situation surrounding the disappearance as well as the current status of the Panchen Lama while addressing a news conference Monday at Oxford, England.
"We need more research. Unless we do the research, (it's) no use to make a comment like that,” the Tibetan leader said.
He also said that the Panchen Lama might be alive and leading a life of a laity. "Some friends say that my Panchen Lama is still alive (...) and he has also had the opportunity to make a family,” the Tibetan leader said in response to a question about a comment made recently by a senior Chinese government official about the disappeared boy, now 26.
Norbu Dunzhub, a member of the Tibet Autonomous Region's United Front Work Department told reporters last week, “The reincarnated child Panchen Lama you mentioned is being educated, living a normal life, growing up healthily and does not wish to be disturbed."
The statement was followed by erroneous claims that the communist state has the sole authority to determine the ‘reincarnation of Tibet’s lamas’ and that Dalai Lama’s determination of Gendun Choekyi Nyima as the 11th Panchen Lama is deemed invalid on the account of it being done without the Chinese government’s consent.
Gendun Choekyi Nyima was recognized by the Dalai Lama on May 14, 1995, before his disappearance. The Dalai Lama reiterated that the communist government’s interest in the reincarnation process is principally a contradicting notion. "I think the Chinese government is more concerned with the Dalai Lama institution than myself".
The Tibetan leader, who is on a 9 day tour to United Kingdom, will give a public talk on Compassion - the Foundation of Well-being at The O2 London on September 19 among other public events.