China’s Panchen Lama urges Tibetans to back communist rule

March 15th, 2009 - 8:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, March 15 (Xinhua) The 11th Panchen Lama Gyaincain Norbu, the state-appointed Tibetan Buddhist leader, Sunday called on the Tibetans to support the Communist Party leadership of China to “achieve progress and bright future”.
“People living in Tibet should cherish the prosperity and happy lives today,” the Panchen Lama said while visiting a government-sponsored exhibition in Beijing depicting economic and social progress that Tibet has achieved in the past five decades.

“Tibetans could only achieve progress and have a bright future under the leadership of the Communist Party of China,” he said at the exhibition titled “50th Anniversary of Democratic Reforms in Tibet” that has been running since Feb 24.

His remarks follow Saturday’s anniversary of last year’s anti-Chinese rioting in the Tibetan capital Lhasa.

He said documentary pictures, files and relics vividly reproduced the “tragedy of slaves in old Tibet and the progress in human rights since the abolition of the serfdom”.

The 19-year-old Buddhist leader also said that he would “continue to guide Tibetan Buddhists to be adapted to the country’s socialist society”.

He promised that he would inherit his predecessor’s tradition to be a patriot and try to maintain the nation’s unity, stability and harmony

A rival 11th Panchen Lama, chosen and recognised by supporters of the exiled Dalai Lama, has reportedly been held under virtual house arrest in China since he was six years old.

The Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhism’s highest leader, has been living in Dharamsala in India since 1959 following the failed uprising against the occupation of Tibet by Chinese troops.

Tibetans consider the Panchen Lama second in importance to their highest spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

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