February 29, 2008
Beijing hopes to bring together politics and religion by appointing its handpicked Panchen Lama to a high government post. The Panchen Lama is second only to the Dalai Lama in importance in the dominant Gelugpa order of Tibetan Buddhism.
The Panchen Lama recognized by the Dalai Lama and most Tibetan Buddhists has been held by the Chinese authorities since the early 1990's. The Panchen Lama chosen by Beijing is the one the world sees and who now seems destined to get into politics.