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Rinpoche takes on a new political role

(China Daily)

09:20, January 28, 2013

From the acne scars on his cheeks to the soft moustache on his upper lip, youth manifests itself on the face of the Living Buddha in saffron robes.

He is the recantation of Reting Rinpoche, once a religious regent in Tibet.
The 16-year-old 7th Reting Living Buddha, whose secular name is Suonam Phuntso, now has yet another role - he is the youngest member of political advisory body the Tibet Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

"My favorite exercise is sit-ups," he told China Daily in an exclusive interview on Thursday. "Because I am fat."

The shy Living Buddha is tall, standing at about 1.7 meters. He inputs the reporter's number into his iPhone. "You are welcome to visit the monastery," he said.

The Rinpoche likes surfing the Web and uses the micro blog network of Tencent.

"I have more than 5,000 fans. I talk about Buddhism with people online quite often."

He has so far posted 116 micro blogs. His latest reads: "Don't care about who is the leader, but care about who treats the people well".

"Living Buddhas have to attend to the people. Without people, there are no leaders, nor Living Buddhas," he said.

In one entry he uploaded a picture of two flowers, one in bloom, the other a bud pointing to the blue sky.

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