The 11th Panchen Lama on Wednesday completed a 13-day tour of Nyingchi, a prefecture-level city in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, performing Buddhist rituals and social activities.
The Panchen Lama, Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu, arrived at the county seat of Medog on Aug. 29, kicking off his first visit to the remote county since his ordination in 1995.
On Aug. 30, the Panchen Lama visited a local monastery in Medog, chanting sutras with other lamas to pray for peace, prosperity and stability, and performing a head-touching ritual to bless the lamas.
On Aug. 31, the Panchen Lama visited the local tea plantation base in Medog, hailing the positive role related businesses play in alleviating poverty and transforming young people’s perceptions about employment.
Between Aug. 28 and Sept. 9, the Panchen Lama visited the counties of Medog, Bome and Mainling. He performed Buddhist rituals there and did research on economic and social development in Nyingchi in recent years.
On Sept. 7, he visited the family of Kunsang which relocated to Mainling from Medog in 2003 and learned that the family’s annual income has reached 160,000 yuan (about 23,400 U.S. dollars).
“The income is pretty good and our life is getting better and better,” said the Panchen Lama, who also encouraged Kunsang’s daughter to study hard and make more contributions to the development of her hometown in the future.
During the tour, the Panchen Lama also visited monasteries in counties of Bome and Lang, calling on lamas there to make their contributions to the wellbeing of local residents and social development.
The Panchen Lama, who returned to Lhasa, capital of Tibet, on Wednesday, will continue to undertake Buddhist and social activities during his stay in Tibet.
The Panchen Lama is a member of the Standing Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the country’s top political advisory body. He is also vice president of the Buddhist Association of China and president of the association’s Tibet branch.