By Tenzin Monlam
Chinese government appointed Panchen Lama (centre)/file
DHARAMSHALA, December 8: The Communist Party Chief of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), Chen Quanguo on Tuesday urged its chosen Panchen Lama, Gyaltsen Norbu, to reject the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism.
The Head of the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) told the Tibet Daily
that he hoped Beijing’s Panchen Lama would ‘unswervingly walk the party’ and safeguard national unity.
"Resolutely draw a clear line between the 14th Dalai Lama and firmly reject all subversive separatist activities," Chen told Gyaltsen Norbu at a meeting in Shigatse on Monday marking 20 years of the boy's appointment.
Gyaltsen Norbu was installed as the 11 Panchen Lama by Beijing following Dalai Lama’s recognition of another boy, Gendun Choekyi Nyima, as the Panchen Lama in 1995.
Tibetan exiles say Beijing is meddling in religious matters of the Tibetans to gain political leverage. Twenty years after disappearance of Gendun Choekyi Nyima, no concrete evidence has been released of his being alive. However, Norbu Dunzhub, a member of the TAR's United Front Work Department on September 7 said that he was being educated, living a normal life, growing up healthily and does not wish to be disturbed. It was the first time that China had openly admitted about him and his present condition since his disappearance when he was only six year old.
Similarly, the Chinese authorities announced that they would be setting up a online database of ‘legitimate living buddhas’ (tulkus) in China.
Zhu Weiqun, Chairman, Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee told CCTV last week, “Some fake Living Buddhas have posed threats to national security, as they use money they collect to sponsor illegal or even separatist activities in Tibet.”
China's State Administration for Religious Affairs on August 3, 2007 issued order that all the reincarnations of tulkus of Tibetan Buddhism must get government approval without which they would be deemed ‘illegal or invalid’.
It also states that the selection process cannot be influenced by any group or individual from outside the country and the temple, which apply for reincarnation of tulkus, must be ‘legally-registered’ with the Chinese government.