Posted by: becketfund | March 31, 2009

China: Government Introduces Panchen Lama

BEIJING – China has pushed a young monk, the Panchen Lama, into the spotlight in an effort to show that it governs Tibet with a benign hand, the BBC reported on March 31. Officials have launched a vigorous propaganda battle over recent weeks, to demonstrate that Tibetans are thriving under Beijing’s direction. The man China selected as its Panchen Lama, the second most important figure in Tibetan Buddhism, has been at the forefront of this campaign. Tibet expert Professor Robert Barnett, of New York’s Columbia University, says this is part of China’s efforts to undermine the appeal of the Dalai Lama, the spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism. “He will never really replace the Dalai Lama, but his role confuses the picture and can gradually be used to weaken the Dalai Lama’s standing,” he said. The Dalai Lama’s choice of Panchen Lama – a young boy called Gedhun Choekyi Nyima – was rejected by China, and disappeared soon afterwards.  China’s choice, Gyaincain Norbu, has been largely kept from public view since his appointment at the age of five. Foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said on Tuesday that China hoped he would help maintain the country’s “territorial integrity.”  The Panchen Lama has made three high-profile forays into the spotlight over the last few weeks to coincide with Serfs’ Emancipation Day last Saturday. This is a new holiday introduced by China to mark the day on which the Dalai Lama’s rule in Tibet was officially dissolved – a day China celebrates as the start of the liberation of ordinary Tibetans.

Advertisements

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: