Panchen Lama asks Tibetan monks to work for nation unity
Beijing: Chinese government-backed Panchen Lama has asked Tibetan Buddhist monks to interpret religious doctrines "correctly" to promote national unity, against the backdrop of unrest in the Himalayan region which saw over 50 self-immolation attempts, mostly by those seeking return of the Dalai Lama.
Addressing 50 Buddhist monks at Xigaze prefecture in Tibet, the 11th Panchen Lama, Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu, spoke about the need for promoting patriotism, rule of law, ethnic unity, social harmony and environmental protection, local officials said.
The 22-year-old Panchen Lama, who was nominated in 1995 by China replacing his Dalai Lama-appointed "predecessor", has started taking active role in recent months as Tibet and the prefectures around it witnessed about 50 self-immolation bids, mostly by monks calling for return of the Dalai Lama from exile.
In his address, the Lama asked monks to interpret the Buddhist doctrines correctly and hoped they would contribute more in promoting national and ethnic unity, social harmony and world peace.
"Buddhism is a recipe for ending secular sufferings and dispelling bad Karma for the masses. It can guide people to ditch the evil for the virtue," state-run Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.
Xigaze is home to Panchen Lamas, regarded as the most important seat of Tibetan Buddhism after the Dalai Lama.
Praising Lama's speech, Gongpo Tashi, a senior official of Tibet, alleged that a small number of people are distorting the Buddhist doctrines mixing them with calls for the "Tibet Independence", which serves as a hidden political agenda.
The rightful interpretation of the Buddhist doctrines by senior monks is a measure to "clarify matters and get to the bottom of things," Xinhua quoted him as saying.