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We even had a vegan wedding in Chinatown in Philadelphia (thanks to Peter Fong at Singapore Vegetarian/Kosher Restaurant as well!

After the Dalai Lama officially proclaimed him Panchen Lama in 1995, the boy was almost immediately abducted and imprisoned by the Chinese government and has not been seen in public since. All three of these lamas--the Dalai Lama, the Karmapa, and the Panchen Lama--are revered spiritual leaders and vital symbols of Tibetan independence both within and outside their homeland. He remains the head of the Tibetan government-in-exile, which he established in the Indian hill station of Dharamsala 40 years ago, through the grace of Pandit Nehru and the Indian government, after escaping into exile himself in 1959.

From there, he leads the fight for Tibetan cultural preservation and autonomy, if not complete political freedom and independence from Chinese rule.

In each of the last 10 years, he has visited 50 or more countries on his mission of peace, nonviolence, and human rights.

The rise of the Dalai Lamas as an institution within Tibetan Buddhism has taken an tortuous course across six centuries.

And only in the last 300 years have the Dalai Lamas held the position of spiritual and temporal sovereign of Tibet.

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