Beijing: China`s choice as the second highest
Tibetan spiritual figure, the 19-year-old Panchen Lama, was
voted vice president of the nation`s Buddhist Association
on Wednesday, state media reported.
The appointment comes just days after negotiations on the
future of Tibet between Chinese Communist party officials and
envoys of the region`s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama,
which failed to make any headway.
The Panchen Lama, addressing the closing ceremony of the
association`s national conference, said he would "uphold the
leadership of the Communist Party of China," the official
Xinhua news agency reported.
He added he would "adhere to socialism, safeguard
national unification, strengthen ethnic unity and expand
Buddhist exchanges, on the basis of adherence to the law and
love for the nation and Buddhism," the report said.
The Buddhist Association of China is the state-run
supervisory body for the religion.
Gyaincain Norbu was enthroned as the 11th Panchen Lama in
a 1995 ceremony overseen by the Communist Party, which had
rejected a boy selected by the Dalai Lama.
The exiled spiritual leader`s choice, Gedhun Choekyi
Nyima, has disappeared from public view and is believed to
have been under a form of house arrest ever since.
According to Xinhua, the Panchen Lama today vowed to
contribute to "the blueprint of the compatible development of
Tibetan Buddhism and socialism."