For immediate Release (fwd)

Katerina Makovec (bc293@freenet.toronto.on.ca)
Sat, 11 Nov 1995 12:12:47 -0500 (EST)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 1995 08:38:04 -0500
From: CTC National Office <fourniel@ERE.UMONTREAL.CA>
To: Multiple recipients of list TIBET-L <TIBET-L@IUBVM.UCS.INDIANA.EDU>
Subject: For immediate Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CHINA'S HIGHEST TIBETAN OFFICIAL EXCLUDED FROM
RIVAL PANCHEN LAMA SELECTION MEETING

Move is seen to ease Beijing's choice for the post

DHARAMSALA, 10 November - In what observers suspect is a deliberate
Chinese attempt to suppress dissenting voices in their selection of a
rival Panchen Lama, the Beijing authorities have kept out Ngapo Ngawang
Jigme, the highest Tibetan in the official Chinese hierarchy, from the
secret meeting of 75 top hand-picked Tibetan cadres and lamas, that is
underway in the Chinese capital.

Beijing authorities recently summoned 75 Tibetan cadres and lamas from
all over the "Tibet Autonomous Region" and other Tibetan areas of Kham and
Amdo for a secret meeting, starting on 5 November, which would probably
decide the Chinese choice of the Panchen Lama.

Those who have been hand-picked to give some legitimacy to this
exercise are important lamas who will be coerced into toeing the official
Chinese line on the Panchen Lama issue, and those who will be doing the
most persuading will be Tibetan party members like Tenzin and Pasang, who
know nothing about Tibetan traditions, customs and beliefs.

Tibetan officials here observe that the reasons why Ngapo, former
vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress,
and former chairman of the "Tibet Autonomous Region" has been excluded
from this important event may be because of his honest and forthright
comments on China's pretense of having recognized and approved of the 14th
Dalai Lama, and because of his knowledge of Tibetan history and
traditions.

Official communist Chinese documents and media report that the envoy of
the nationalist Chinese, Wu Zhongxin, gave the official Kuomintang
recognition to the 14th Dalai Lama in 1940 and had presided over his
enthronement, and to support this claim re-produced a photograph of the
Chinese official with the young Dalai Lama, saying that this was taken
during the enthronement ceremony.

But Ngapo is on record saying that this photograph was taken a few days
after the ceremony, when Wu had the privilege of having a private audience
with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

"Wu Zhongxin's claim of having presided over the enthronement ceremony
on the basis of this photograph is a blatant distortion of historical
facts," Ngapo said in Tibet Daily, 31 August 1989.

On the issue of the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama, the 10th Panchen
Lama himself made these comments, "According to Tibetan tradition, the
confirmation of either the Dalai or the Panchen Lama must be mutually
recognized." These remarks were printed in the official Chinese
publication China Reconstructs, January 1988.

According to reliable sources based in the Chinese capital, the 75
Tibetans will return to Tibet on 12 November. Those returning to the
"Tibet Autonomous Region" will stop in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan
province, where they will arrive on 13 November and 30 rooms have been
booked for them in the Tibet-Chengdu Guesthouse.

Tempa Tsering
Secretary
10 November 1995

-ENDS-