Chinese Government Touts Panchen Lama as New Tibetan Leader

December 19, 2005


Wire Service: AFP

On December 19, 2005 Agence France-Presse reported, "China is raising the profile of a teenage boy it selected as the 11th Panchen Lama, allowing him to perform a ceremony attended by thousands of worshippers, state media reports revealed. Beijing chose Gyaincain Norbu when he was six years old to be the 11th Panchen Lama, the second highest spiritual leader in Tibet, after rejecting another boy picked by the exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. Now 15, Gyaincain Norbu, who was rarely seen in public before, was shown on China's state television earlier this month blessing worshippers in a ceremony marking his enthronement at the Panchen Lama's residence... Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, a boy chosen by the Dalai Lama to be the Panchen Lama, is believed to have been under house arrest by China since 1995."