(TibetanReview.net, Jan23’23) – An umbrella organization that brings together a number of sects of Japanese Buddhism, with millions of followers in Japan and other countries, has on Jan 21 issued a sharply worded message, voicing objections over China’s constant interference in Tibet’s religious and spiritual matters. It, especially, calls on China to back off from interfering in the succession process of the next Dalai Lama, reported the ANI news service Jan 21.
The message puts on record the position of the Japanese Buddhist Conference for World Federation, that the Tibetan people must decide the successor of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama on the basis of Tibetan culture and history, and not China, the report said.
“His Holiness, Dalai Lama, the 14th turned 87 years on July 6, 2022. The issue of his future successor is gradually gaining attention all over the world. We the monks of Japan believe that Tibetan people must decide upon the next successor based on their Tibetan Buddhist culture and history”, the Reverend Eihiro Mizutani, the Secretary General of the federation, has said in the message. He has highlighted the fact that China had no role in this process.
Atheist Chinese government enacted in 2007 a set of regulations by which it arrogated to itself the sole right to recognize all reincarnations in Tibetan Buddhism, with the main aim to install its own next Dalai Lama, although it does not believe in reincarnation and therefore lacks the most basis credential to make any such decision.
Indeed, the federation’s message has further said: “His Holiness Dalai Lama has stated that ‘forceful intervention in the approval process (of the next Dalai Lama) by people executing political powers, who did not even acknowledge the very existence of previous or the future Dalai Lamas, is inappropriate’”.
Matters related to religion must be in accordance with religious values, hence people who do not possess those religious values, ought not to intervene in such matters. This is a matter of valuing the freedom of religious faith (belief), the federation has said.
The federation has also said, “If religious oppression in Tibet is a fact, then it is a big challenge for human rights, a value shared by most of the countries around the world. His Holiness, Dalai Lama, is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and has been fighting against the Chinese government in a peaceful and non-violent manner.”
The relationship between Japan, India and the Tibetans is intertwined with Buddhism, which is one of the major world religions in Asia with a rich history, the ANI report noted.