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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

Chinese Panchen decorated with another official title

March 5, 2010

Tibetan Review
March 3, 2010

After making him a Vice Chairman of the government-run China Buddhism
Association at the conclusion in early Feb'10 of its 8th national
congress, China has now made Gyaltsen Norbu a member of the National
Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference
(CPPCC). The CPPCC's supposed role is to advice the National People's
Congress, the Chinese parliament, which is itself, however, a mere
rubberstamp body.

The Chinese government-imposed 11th Panchen Lama was among 13 people
approved as new members Mar 1 by the Standing Committee of the CPPCC
National Committee.

The annual session of the CPPCC begins on Mar 3.

The Chinese Panchen, who is not yet 20, lives in Beijing, rather than
the traditional seat of the Panchen Lamas at Tashi Lhunpo monastery
in Shigatse, Tibet, obviously because the Tibetan public do not accept him.

Gedhun Choekyi Nima, the 11th Panchen Lama recognized by the Dalai
Lama, was kidnapped by the Chinese government on May 17, 1995 with
his family and has not been seen or heard from ever since. The vast
majority of Tibetans accept him as the real Panchen Lama. China
claims he is in their protective custody without explaining why.

The Chinese move to elevate Gyaltsen Norbu's political status is seen
as being designed to counter the Dalai Lama globally. However, the
fact that the youngster owes his status entirely to the Chinese
government which controls him like a puppet is bound to prove a major
handicap in this effort.

The CPPC is made up of some 2,200 wealthy businessmen, sports
celebrities, academics, religious figures and prominent members of
China's ethnic minorities who all submit their allegiance to the
Communist Party of China. Appointment to the CPPCC is also cynically
viewed as a reward for retired officials. The 13 newly appointed
members include Li Changjiang, the former head of China's food safety
administration who was forced to resign over the scandal involving
melamine-contaminated milk, noted The New York Times Online Mar 1.
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