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Tibet-Fake-Panchen-2016Dharamshala — As reported recently by Chinese state media, the Chinese-assigned Panchen Gyaltsen Norbu is going to give a three-day Kalachakra initiation in Tashi Lhunpo monastery, Shigatse, Tibet. The monastery and the Buddhist Association in Shigatse announced the Kalachakra initiation would last from July 21-24.

According to a source in Tibet, in order to have enough participants for the teaching, the Chinese government made a decree stating that, every Tibetan family in Shigatse city must provide at least two participants for the Chinese Panchen's Kalachakra initiation.

Sonam, a diasporic Tibetan living in Switzerland, told TPI that, "according to a source from Shigatse, Gyaltsen Norbu, the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama assigned by the Chinese authorities, is going to host the Kalachakra initiation at a new palace. In order to feign the impression that this 'fake Panchen' for Tibetans was indeed popular, the Chinese government has already required that at least two people from each local family to come to the event. Special buses will be provided for Tibetans who go to the event."

At the same time, the state media brazenly emphasized the magnitude and rarity for the Chinese Panchen to host the Kalachakra initiation. According to the state media, for the preparation of this event, the Chinese authorities just built a new altar spanning 200 square meters, covered in yellow silk cloth and embroidered with auspicious Tibetan designs. On each side of the platform, a large LED screen has been erected.

Kalachakra, in Tibetan: Due-Khor-Wang-Chen, meaning 'Wheels of Time', is a very complex teaching and practice in Tibetan Buddhism usually given to large public assemblages. The last Kalachakra initiation given in Tibet was by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama back in 1956.

Since 1970, His Holiness the Dalai Lama hosted the Kalachakra initiation 31 more times in India, USA, Australia, and many other countries all across the world. Tibetans inside and outside of Tibet come to join these special events despite possible political persecution, should they choose to go back to Tibet. The Dalai Lama is considered to be the most prominent Kalachakra lineage holder alive today.

After the 10th Panchen Lama passed away in 1989, the 14th Dalai Lama officially verified the six-year-old Gendun Choekyi Nyima as the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama in 1995. However, after three days following his verification, the Chinese Communist Party took the six-year-old real reincarnation of the Panchen Lama and his family away covertly. Gendun Choekyi Nyima's whereabouts are still unknown, and he is recognized as the world's youngest political prisoner by the international community.

The Chinese government then assigned Gyaltsen Norbu as the 11th Panchen Lama, as well as appointing him as the deputy chief of the China Buddhism Association, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau since 2010. The Central Tibetan Administration in Dharamsala believes that Gyaltsen Norbu is only a political puppy being used by the Chinese government to control Tibetans. Tibetans have never accepted Gyaltsen Norbu as the Panchen Lama, and commonly address him as the 'fake Panchen' or 'Chinese Panchen'.