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17 September, 2015

Dalai Lama calls for more research into 20-year disappearance of Panchen Lama

The Chinese government sees the appointment of the next Dalai Lama as key to consolidating state control over Tibet, where separatist movements have flared since the 1950s, and to undermining the present Dalai Lama's influence.

"I think the Chinese government is more concerned with the Dalai Lama institution than myself," the Dalai Lama said on Monday at a news conference at Oxford University.

[Reuters 14 Sept. 2015] The Dalai Lama said on Monday more research was needed to settle the fate of the man he named as the Panchen Lama, the second-highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism, who vanished two decades ago but is said by the Chinese to be living a normal life.

Gendun Choekyi Nyima, now 26, disappeared shortly after he was declared by the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet to be the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama when he was six years old.

The Chinese Communist Party has long maintained that Gendun Choekyi Nyima is not the real Panchen Lama, and in 1995, the government selected Gyaltsen Norbu as the 11th Panchen Lama.

"Some friends say that my Panchen Lama is still alive (...) and he has also had the opportunity to make a family," the Dalai Lama said.

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