Beijing's Tibet lama choice enters politics, pledges to uphold "patrotism": Report
BEIJING (AFP) - China's choice as one of the most important figures in the Tibetan religious hierarchy has been given his first political appointment, state media said today.
China enthroned Sonam Phuntsok in 2000 as the seventh Reting Rinpoche, a line of figures who have traditionally taken charge between the death of Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and the identification of his successor.
His selection was seen as an attempt by Beijing to increase its control over reincarnations of Tibetan lamas and to legitimise its rule over the region, with monks at the Reting monastery protesting at the time.
Now, as Tibet is roiled by ethnic tensions, the 16-year-old teenager has become the youngest member of the Tibet Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the China Daily said, and has pledged to uphold "patriotism".