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An overview of the stories making the French and international newspaper headlines. From Monday to Friday live at 7.20 am and 9.20 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2010-03-02

Who is the Panchen Lama?

The Independent in the UK takes a look at Beijing’s bid to usurp the Dalai Lama in the person of 20-year-old Gyaltsen Norbu – the so-called Panchen Lama. TUESDAY, 2nd MARCH, 2010

Tensions between the Dalai Lama and Beijing have just been raised up another notch or two, according to today’s The Independent. Some years ago, Gyaltsen Norbu was enthroned by Beijing as the Panchen Lama, the second-highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism.
 
The 20-year-old has long been earmarked as Beijing’s choice to usurp the Dalai Lama as the public face of Tibetan Buddhism. How Beijing has appointed the young man as a delegate to China’s top legislative advisory body. the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. What’s more, last month he was voted vice-president of China’s Buddhist Association.
 
which explains why their control of the current Panchen Lama is particularly important. The Panchen Lama traditionally names the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama when the he dies which explains why Beijing is so eager to control the second-highest figure in Tibet’s hierarchy. The current Dalai Lama is viewed as a dangerous separatist by Chinese authorities.
 
Understandably, the Panchen Lama is not widely accepted by Tibetans. Another boy, Gendun Choekyi Nyima, was named as the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama by the Dalai Lama in 1995. That boy and his family disappeared soon after and have not been heard from since. He is believed to be under house arrest in Beijing.
 
Other stories in today’s international papers:
 
Globe and Mail: “A Nation’s Triumph”
Toronto Star: “The True North!”
 
The Moscow Times: “Olympic Witch Hunt”
 
The Guardian: “Zuma visit is unlikely to faze the Queen”
 
The Daily Mail: “He’s a sex-obsessed bigot with four wives and 35 children. So why is Britain fawning over this vile buffoon?”
 
The International Herald Tribune: “Immigrants in Italy rally for a nationwide strike”
 
The International Herald Tribune: “Refugees from German schools”

By James CREEDON

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