China Restricts Media Coverage of Panchen Lama's Daughter

By Zhi Yuan, Voice of America
September 12, 2006 12:00 am Last Updated: September 12, 2006 12:00 am

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) publicity control group has recently blacklisted Rinzinwangmo, daughter of the deceased Tenth Panchen Lama and has restricted all media coverage about her. The Chinese regime fears Rinzinwangmo's influence in Tibet will exceed that of her father's controversial successor—Gyaltsen Norbu, the sixteen-year-old Eleventh Panchen Lama.

A Tibetan writer said that the daughter of the Tenth Panchen Lama and her mother planned to visit the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Garze this summer but were blocked by the CCP United Front Work Department in Chengdu city. The Tibetan writer believes the Chinese government was worried that Rinzinwangmo's influence in Tibet will exceed that of the CCP-chosen Eleventh Panchen Lama.

In Tibet, people could not publicly deny that the government identified the new Panchen Lama; so they transformed their fond memory of the Tenth Panchen Lama and their dissatisfaction with the existence of two Eleventh Panchen Lamas—one nominated by the Dalai Lama, one chosen by the Communist government—into love for the daughter of Tenth Panchen Lama.

The CCP Central Publicity Department put Rinzinwangmo onto a blacklist to restrict media coverage in July in order to “avoid interrupting religious leaders.” Many websites in mainland China were instructed to withdraw an article published by Southern People Weekly interviewing the Tenth Panchen Lama's daughter.

The Tibetan writer said that the Tibetan people are happy with Rinzinwangmo's behavior and educational background. Reuters reported that Rinzinwangmo is the only descendant of Tenth Panchen Lama Choekyi Gyaltsen. The Panchen Lama is Tibetan Buddhism's second highest leader after the Dalai Lama.