Chinese parade boy Lama

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The Independent Online
IN A bid to win over the hearts of Tibetans, China paraded a nine- year-old boy through the streets of Lhasa to soften the impact of a World Bank-funded project to relocate Chinese settlers into Tibet.

Gyaincain Norbu, the boy chosen by Peking as the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama, made his first appearance in the Tibetan capital on Thursday. According to the Chinese media, he was warmly welcomed.

The solemn-faced boy was enthroned by China in 1995 after Tibet's exiled leader, the Dalai Lama, sparked a bitter row with Peking by chosing a different reincarnation.

Like Norbu, the rival boy chosen by the Dalai Lama is believed to be in Peking, but under house arrest.

The Washington-based International Campaign for Tibet has warned the scheme will reignite ethnic hostilities.