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Chinese-Appointed Panchen Lama Says Tibet has Religious Freedom


Chinese state media say the Beijing-appointed 11th Panchen Lama is praising religious freedom in Tibet.

The Xinhua news agency quotes the 15-year-old boy Gyaltsen Norbu as saying that living Buddhas like himself are able to perform religious rituals under the wing of the Chinese Constitution and other laws.

He is also reported to have praised the Chinese Communist Party's role in bringing harmony and stability to Tibet.

The Chinese government appointed the boy in 1995, although he is not recognized as the Panchen Lama by most Tibetans. The Panchen Lama is Tibetan Buddhism's second-most prominent figure.

Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, chose a different boy Gendun Choekyi Nyima as the reincarnation of the 10th Panchen Lama. He and his family were detained by Chinese authorities in 1995 and have not been seen since.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AFP.

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