Government Says Tibetan Leader is Alive and Well But Refuses to Release His Location

May 28, 2004


On May 28, 2004 posted an United Press International article that reported, "China says the Tibetan boy internationally viewed as the second highest leader of Tibetan Buddhism is alive and well, the Times of London reported Friday. However, China refuses to disclose the location of Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, now 16. He was abducted from his home by Chinese agents after the Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhism's top leader, designated the lad as the 'Panchen Lama,' effectively making him his successor as the religious head of Tibet's overwhelmingly Buddhist population. 'His health condition is good and he is living a normal and happy life and receiving a good education,' a Chinese statement said. Although China's Marxist leaders say they are atheist, they have designated their own Panchen Lama or reincarnation figure, someone named Gyaincain Norbu. Almost no Buddhists recognize Gyaincain Norbu as the Panchen Lama."