- Title: Profile of Dalai Lama, ahead of his 85th birthday
- Date: 9th June 2020
- Summary: Following the death of the 10th Panchen Lama, Tibetan Buddhism's second-highest ranking religious figure, a fierce political struggle erupted over the search for his reincarnation. In May 1995, the Dalai Lama unilaterally announced his choice, pre-empting the Chinese government after attempts to find a common candidate failed. Beijing rejected the Dalai Lama's choice and instead enthroned Gyaincain Norbu as the 11th Panchen Lama at a grand ceremony in December 1995. Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the boy picked by the Dalai Lama, and his family were put under house arrest and have since disappeared from public view. NEW DELHI, INDIA (FILE - DECEMBER 8, 1995) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (ANI - NO USE INDIA) TIBETAN BUDDHISTS CARRYING BANNERS PROTESTING AGAINST THE ENTHRONEMENT OF CHINA'S CHOICE AS THE 11TH PANCHEN LAMA DEMONSTRATORS WITH PICTURES OF THE DALAI LAMA'S CHOICE AS THE 11TH PANCHEN LAMA, GEDHUN CHOEKYI NYIMA
- Embargoed: 23rd June 2020 08:08
- Keywords: 60th anniversary China Chinese rule Dalai lama India Nobel Peace Prize Tibet religious freedom uprising
- Location: SEE SCRIPT BODY FOR LOCATIONS
- City: SEE SCRIPT BODY FOR LOCATIONS
- Country: China
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA004CL4UQ87
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama is to turn 85 on July 6.
Born Lhamo Thondup, the Dalai Lama was just two years old when identified by a search party as the new incarnation of Tibet's most important spiritual leader, and was whisked from the family home to live in Lhasa. He was officially enthroned in February 1940.
The Dalai Lama, who fled to India in early 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule, lives in exile in the northern Indian hill town of Dharamshala.
The 84-year-old spiritual leader was faced with a health scare in April of 2019 and was admitted to hospital in the Indian capital of New Delhi with a chest infection, but later reassured his followers of a full recovery.
Many of the up to 100,000 Tibetans living in India are worried that their fight for a genuinely autonomous homeland would end with the Dalai Lama.
China, which took control of Tibet in 1950, brands the Nobel peace laureate a dangerous separatist and has said its leaders have the right to approve the Dalai Lama's successor, as a legacy inherited from China's emperors.
But many Tibetans - whose tradition holds that the soul of a senior Buddhist monk is reincarnated in the body of a child on his death - suspect any Chinese role as a ploy to exert influence on the community.
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