China reiterates policy to deny Dalai Lama his own reincarnation

His Holiness the Dalai Lama. (Photo courtesy: Manuel Bauer/OHHDL)

(, Jul15’19) – China has reiterated its atheist policy-assertion that the next Dalai Lama shall not be a reincarnation of the present one but someone appointed by it as such. “On reincarnation of Dalai Lama, the position of Chinese government is clear. It’s not his personal decision to make,” Jul 15 quoted Wang Neng Shang, a vice minister of Tibet autonomous region and Director General of the regional people’s government information office, as saying in an exclusive interview.

While the concept of reincarnation is founded on the premise that a spiritual being takes a rebirth of his own choosing in order to be able to carry out his work for the benefit of sentient beings most effectively, China says it is all about the centrality of the authority of the Chinese government.

Wang Neng Shang, vice minister of Tibet autonomous region and Director General of the regional people’s government information office. (Photo courtesy: DNA)

“The process must go through a lot drawing in the golden urn, and reincarnation must be recognised by the central government. … The centrality of the central government must be recognised,” Wang has said.

The golden urn was donated by China’s late 18th century Manchu emperor Qianlong, a Buddhist himself, to possibly facilitate the recognition of a Dalai Lama reincarnation with accompanying religious rituals but hardly ever needed to be used by the Tibetans. It was most prominently used by the present Chinese government for the selection of the 11th Panchen Lama in 1995 and the latter’s status remains controversial given that the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s top religious figure, had already recognized another boy, Gedhun Chokeyi Nyima, as the 11th Panchen Lama in discharge of his historical role. The six-year-old Gedhun Chokeyi Nyima was promptly disappeared by China and his whereabouts remain unknown to this day.

Meanwhile, an influential Beijing-backed Think Tank China Tibetology Research Centre (CTRC) has said India-China ties would be impacted if New Delhi fails to recognise the next China appointed Dalai Lama.

“If Indian government refuse to recognise (next China-appointed Dalai Lama) it would be a major political difference that would impact Sino-Indian ties,” Jul 14 quoted Zha Luo, Professor CTRC, as saying to a group of visiting Indian journalists in Tibet’s capital Lhasa on Jul 8.

India never had any role in the Tibetan Buddhist reincarnation process. But now China seems to want it to not only play a role but also one that is only in favour of Beijing. “The bottom line, that China wants India to do during the reincarnation process of Dalai Lama, India should respect China’s rights to deal with its domestic, political, economic, social, religious affairs, that is the bottom line, mutual respect,” the report quoted Xiao Jie, Assistant fellow in institute of commentary studies of CTRC, as saying.


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