(TibetanReview.net, Feb10, 2017) – The exile Tibetan administration’s Office of Tibet at Brussels has organised on Feb 8 a two-hour conference in the European Parliament (EP) on the subject of ‘Reincarnation of Dalai Lama: Why it Matters to China’. The event was co-hosted by the major political groups in the EP, including the European Peoples Party (EPP), Socialists and Democrats (S&D), Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) and the Greens/European Free Alliance, said the office of Tibet in a press statement Feb 9.
One of the main speakers, Ven. Dagpo Rinpoche, introduced the gathering to the system of reincarnation in Tibetan Buddhism, explaining how it came into being and had been practiced through the centuries, and about the process for seeking the reincarnation of the Dalai Lamas.
Dagpo Rinpoche, a respected Tibetan Buddhist master, had arrived in France in 1960 on a Rockefeller Foundation scholarship and taught Tibetan language and philosophy at INALCO (Paris-Dauphine University) for nearly thirty years.
Another expert who addressed the conference was Ms Marie Holzman. The Sinologist said that for China controlling the recognition of the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama was a way for it to control Tibet. She has said that in the highly material and controlled society of China today, the practice of spirituality had come to be seen as a dissent. She has pointed out that atheist China today had over 10 million Christians, 20-30 million Muslims and over 300 million Buddhists.
Holzman, who specializes on Contemporary China, has taught at Paris 7 University for twenty years.
The conference was earlier opened by MEP Mr Thomas Mann. It was moderated by MEP Preda while MEPs Molly Scott-Cato and Laszlo Tokes made opening remarks. MEP Csaba Sogor recalled his country’s repression under the Communist regime of Ceausescu and said spirituality could not be cowed down by military and forcible Communist theology.
Representative Mr Tashi Phuntsok gave the closing remarks.
Some 60 people attended the conference, including 7 MEPs, 15 Parliamentary Assistants, the Press, Politicians, NGOs, Tibet Support Groups and the staff of Office of Tibet.