Isabel Hilton

Isabel Hilton is a journalist, broadcaster and editor of chinadialogue.net

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THE BOYS WHO WOULD BE LAMA

A boy has vanished; monks have been thrown into gaol. How did Tibet's Chinese rulers turn the search for a religious leader into an excuse for renewed persecution? And where is the boy?

Rebirth - in the spirit of the Himalayas

The battle raging around the search for the 11th reincarnation of the Panchen Lama is only the latest in the troubled history of this, the second most respected reincarnation in Tibetan Buddhism. The office of Panchen Lama was created by the Fifth Dalai Lama, a man whose political skills and force of will established the lamaist state that lasted from the seventh century to the Chinese occupation of Tibet in the Fifties. It was the Great Fifth Dalai Lama who, in 1641, with the support of a Mongol king, succeeded in establishing political control of Tibet for his order, the Gelugpa sect, and united the roles of spiritual leader and king of Tibet.
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