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Himalaya Indian Buddhists to deny locus standi to any China-installed 15th Dalai Lama

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(TibetanReview.net, Dec21’22) – An organization of top leaders of Himalayan Buddhists in India have on Dec 20 condemned China’s move to appoint its own successor to the current, 14th Dalai Lama, saying such a political appointee will have no locus standi in their midst.

“If the gov’t of the People’s Republic of China, for political ends, chooses a candidate for the Dalai Lama, the people of the Himalayas will never accept it, never pay devotional obeisance to such a political appointee and publicly denounce such move by anyone,” wionews.com Dec 20 quoted the Indian Himalayan council of the Nalanda Buddhist Tradition (IHCNBT) as saying in a resolution.

The occasion was the second governing council meeting of the organization.

The one-page resolution was stated to explain that the “system of recognizing reincarnated spiritual beings is a religious practice unique to Nalanda Buddhism and the philosophy of the principle of life after death”, adding, “no government or any individual has the right to interfere in this matter”.

The resolution has made it clear that “the sole authority on the reincarnation of his holiness the Dalai Lama is Gaden Phodang institution. No one, including China, should interfere with such a holy and devotional process”.

“Don’t worry about the Chinese government, His Holiness Dalai Lama is the supreme spiritual leader of all the Buddhist, not only the Himalayan region but other countries. … Chinese govt try something but will not impact the institution,” Lochen Rimpoche, the President of the organization, has said.

The report also quoted the organization’s Vice President, the Venerable Jangchup Choeden Rinpoche, as saying, “China is preparing a lot of things to take over the agenda. For us, Himalayan Buddhists, His Holiness, his institution, and continuing of this institution is very important point. His Holiness is very strongly connected to Himalayan region”.

The “issue of reincarnation of Dalai Lama is purely a religious and cultural issue, no other authority has any role to interfere in the process,” Maling Gombo, the General Secretary of the council, has added.

IHCNBT was formed in 2018 and has as its members the top Buddhist leadership of the Indian union territory of Ladakh and states like Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh which share border with Chinese-occupied Tibet.

IHCNBT was stated to have been first conceived by The Tawang Foundation, a strategic Think Tank body, during a National Conference held over Jun 29-30 at Gurugram in the outskirt of New Delhi. The organization works for the Preservation of Indian Himalayan Nalanda Buddhist tradition and develops Institutions of learning amongst all the traditions of Nalanda Buddhism in the Indian Himalayan region. It has been organizing a number of Buddhist conclaves as well in Ladakh, Himachal, Uttarakhand, and Sikkim.

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