April 26, 2012 1:00:49 am
K J M Varma
Panchen Lama,being groomed by China to rival exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama,on Wednesday stepped out of the Chinese mainland for the first time to attend an international Buddhist conference in Hong Kong.
The 11th Panchen Lama Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu will attend the grand blessing ceremony for Lord Buddhas parietal-bone relic flown to Hong Kong on Wednesday from Chinese city Nanjing,state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The 22-year-old Lama will address the China-backed three-day World Buddhist Forum at Hong Kong beginning Wednesday. His presence in Hong Kong,a Special Administrative Region of China,is seen as an attempt by Beijing to raise his profile,as the leader went out of the Chinese mainland for the first time.
Jiang Jianyong,vice chairman of the China Religious Culture Communication Association said as an important religious leader of Tibetan Buddhism and vice chairman of the Buddhist Association of China,the 11th Panchen Lama is highly respected and strongly supported by religious circles and religious believers.
China is nurturing Panchen Lama,regarded in Tibetan Buddhist hierarchy as the second most important spiritual leader after the Dalai Lama,76.
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