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Pursuit Of Tibetan Independence Intolerable, Panchen Lama Says

October 18, 1986

PEKING (AP) _ A Tibetan religious leader has denounced efforts to make Tibet independent from China, the official Xinhua news agency said Saturday.

″Now, some abroad are attempting to pursue ‘Tibetan independence’ to split China, which is intolerable,″ the agency quoted the leader, the Panchen Lama, as saying during a recent tour of Tibet.

″Any word or deed attempting to split the areas from China goes against the will of the Chinese nation,″ the Panchen Lama, Tibet’s second-highest religious leader, was quoted as saying.

The top leader of Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama, fled to India with 100,000 followers in 1959 after Chinese troops crushed a Tibetan rebellion.′

The Panchen Lama remained in China and is vice chairman of the National People’s Congress, China’s largely ceremonial legislature.

The Panchen Lama cricitized the Dalai Lama’s independence activities, saying they go against Tibet’s interests. Many Tibetans remain loyal to the Dalai Lama despite his long exile.

China annexed Tibet in 1951. During the radical leftist Cultural Revolution, most places of worship in Tibet and other parts of China were closed.

China has since reopened many of them, but has said the Dalai Lama would not be permitted to resettle in Tibet and would be barred from holding political office.

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