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11th Panchen Lama Vows to Serve Motherland

The 11th Panchen Lama paid homage to the stupas of his predecessors Thursday at the Zhaxi Lhunbo Lamasery in Xigaze, the second largest city in Tibet.

The leader of Tibetan Buddhism, dressed in a purple cassock and a golden crown, paid his respect to the pagoda-like structures inaugurated to the souls of the fourth to the 10th Panchen Lamas, at the ceremony that started at 9:20 AM and lasted for more than three hours.

He also presented a "hada", a white scarf symbolizing the Tibetan's best wishes, and chanted sutras, to the Stupa "Sisum Namgyal", which was built in memory of the late 10th Panchen Lama who died in 1989.

"All during his life, the 10th Panchen Lama loved our motherland and carried forward the glorious traditions of his predecessors," he said in front of the 11.55-meter-high gold-adorned shrine, whose name means "immortal of the universe". "He was a patriot who upheld the reunification of the motherland and solidarity of all Chinese nationals."

 At the end of the worship ceremony, the 11th Panchen Lama said he will "live up to the expectations of the Chinese Communist Party and the central government", bear in mind the instructions of Chinese President Hu Jintao, carry forward the glorious traditions of his predecessors, concentrate on sutra studies and be a good living Buddha who loves his motherland, his religion andserves his country and its people.

Gyaincain Norbu, born on February 13, 1990 in Lhari county of Nagqu prefecture in northern Tibet, was approved by the central government in November 1995 as the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama after a lot drawing ceremony among three candidates in the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa. He was enthroned as the 11th Panchen Lama on Dec. 8, 1995.

Zhaxi Lhunbo Lamasery, covering 300,000 square meters, was built in 1447 and was the residence of all previous Panchen Lamas.

(Xinhua News Agency December 16, 2005)

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