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China says Panchen Lama leading 'normal life' following disappearance 25 years ago

A child who disappeared 25 years ago after being appointed as a Tibetan Buddhist leader by the Dalai Lama is now living a “normal life” after graduating from university, China said Tuesday following US calls to reveal his location.

The Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in India and enjoys a wide global following, in May 1995 identified Gedhun Choekyi Nyima as the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama, the second most senior figure in Tibetan Buddhism’s largest school.

Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/archer10 (Dennis).

The six-year-old boy was taken into custody three days later and has not been seen since, with human rights groups calling him the world’s youngest political prisoner.

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