The 11th Panchen Lama Gyaincain Norbu denounced fake monks and called for the stricter regulation of religious personnel in his first speech to a plenary meeting of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
In Sunday's CPPCC plenary session, the Panchen Lama spoke of improving religious work, saying some regions have been using temples as "cash machines."
"With the development of the market economy, Buddhism has suffered the effects of commercialization. Some monks were not following religious disciplines and have been seeking financial gain in the name of religion," the Panchen Lama said. "Although fake monks cannot represent mainstream Buddhists, they have had a very negative influence."
He recommended stricter regulation of temples and monks, and a long-term supervision mechanism on fake monks and religious commercialization.
It was the 11th Panchen Lama's first speech to the general assembly of the CPPCC, though he had attended the annual meeting for eight times.
The Panchen Lama also called for the cultivation of religious personnel. He said many temples have focused on grand architecture and ignored the cultivation of knowledgeable monks.
The ongoing two sessions have brought representatives from a dozen ethnic minority groups, including Uyghurs, Tibetans, Yis, Jingpos, Lisus, Koreans, and Zhuangs to Beijing in the past week.
Zhang Guizhong, from the Hani ethnic group in Southwest China's Yunnan Province as well as a National People's Congress (NPC) deputy, told the Global Times on Monday that his proposals to the two sessions involve poverty alleviation in ethnic minority regions.
Zhang called for funds for social welfare programs and infrastructure development in ethnic minority regions.
Halidan Abdudel, a NPC deputy from XinjiangUyghur Autonomous Region, told the Global Times that her proposals focus on tax reform and the establishment of an information center in Karamay, northwestern Xinjiang.
Pan Chengying, an ethnic Yi deputy from Sichuan, said she had proposed bilingual education in ethnic Yi villages to prepare children under seven years for primary schools, whose classes are usually conducted in Chinese.