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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Chinese Panchen at Jokhang during rare Tibet visit

July 17, 2009

(, Jul16, 2009) Gyaltsen Norbu, the man appointed by
China as the 11th Panchen Lama and who lives in Beijing, has visited the
Jokhang Temple in Tibet’s capital Lhasa. The 19-year-old visited the
Tibetan Buddhists’ most sacred shrine on Jul 15 morning, reported
China’s official Xinhua news agency Jul 16. He was reported to have led
a 30-minute sutra chanting ceremony there.

The report said Gyaltsen met with Zhang Qingli, secretary of the Tibet
Regional Committee of the Communist Party of China, and spoke of having
seen great changes in Lhasa since he last visited it two years ago.

He was reported to have arrived in Lhasa on Jul 14, although it was not
clear how long he would stay. The Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Shigatse is
the traditional seat of the Panchen Lamas. However, due to his
controversial appointment, and therefore lack of recognition by the
ordinary Tibetans, China has been keeping him in Beijing.

Meanwhile, the whereabouts of Gedhun Choekyi Niyma, the boy recognized
by the Dalai Lama on May 14, 1995 as the real 11th Panchen Lama,
continues to remain unknown. China kidnapped him and his family on May
17, 1995. The Panchen Lama is the second most prominent religious figure
in Tibet, after the Dalai Lama to whose Gelugpa sect his belongs.
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