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Panchen Lama calls for stability

(Xinhua)

08:07, July 25, 2012

The 11th Panchen Lama, Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu (R), is greeted after arriving in Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, July 23, 2012. The Panchen Lama began his Lhasa visit on Monday. The lama's visits have become an annual event in recent years. (Xinhua/Chogo)

LHASA, July 24 (Xinhua) -- A spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism on Tuesday called on monks to promote social stability in Tibet.

"If a person does not protect social stability, he is not fit to be called a man of religion," said the 11th Panchen Lama, who met with leaders of Tibet autonomous region in his Lhasa residence on the second day of his visit to the city.

The Panchen Lama said it is both the "basics" and responsibility for a religious person to help people do good deeds, and promote harmony and social development by religious preaching.

"And religious people should abide by the laws and religious code of conduct themselves," he added.

The Panchen Lama's words came after several of China's Tibetan areas reported self-immolation cases in recent months, most of which involved people from the monasteries.

Nevertheless, the senior lama said Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism are in their prime time of development and he in particular applauded the government's efforts to expand health insurance and social security coverage to all monks and nuns in Tibet's monasteries.

He urged monks to appreciate what they have now and do more to safeguard social stability.

The Panchen Lama began this year's Lhasa visit on Monday. He visited Jokhang Temple -- the most revered monastery in "holy city" Lhasa -- on Tuesday, paying homage to statues of Buddhas and leading a prayer service.

In 1995, at the age of six, he was chosen as the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Erdeni in Jokhang through the traditional method of drawing lots from a golden urn.

Praised by government leaders for his fine talk and behavior after 17 years of grooming, the 22-year-old senior lama said he felt "pressured" due to the high expectations he shoulders.

"I feel I am given an important task and bear great responsibilities, but I will take this pressure as motivation," the Panchen Lama said.

"I am confident to let Tibetan Buddhism play a more active role in promoting social harmony and China's development," he added. "For that, the leadership and all people in Tibet can be at ease."


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