By Tenzin Nyidon
DHARAMSHALA, Jan. 25: Representatives of the Japanese Buddhist Conference for World Federation issued a strong condemnation to Chinese officials for their interference in the succession process of the next Dalai Lama. The delegation in a letter to the Office of Tibet, Japan stated that only Tibetans will decide the next successor of the14th Dalai Lama based on their culture and history.
Earlier, the same body strongly criticized China’s constant interference in Tibet’s religious and spiritual issues, and called for respect for the religious and cultural rights of the Tibetan people. Over the past few years, JBCWF has been actively engaging with Tibet’s rights group in raising awareness about religious oppression inside Tibet by advocating for religious rights and freedom of the Tibetan people while also promoting the Dalai Lama’s message of peace in resolving Tibet’s issues through dialogue and non-violent means.
In their statement Reverend Mizutani Eikan, the Secretary General of Japan Buddhist Conference for World Federation said, “His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama 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 Tibetan people must decide upon the next successor based on their Tibetan culture and history.”
“It is of utmost importance for the Japan Buddhist Federation to highlight the issue of succession of his Holiness the Dalai Lama as Tibet’s rich culture and religion is on the threshold of destruction under China’s occupation of the land,” the statement read.
The federation’s statement further highlighted that the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) national policy is communism which is based on the principle of non-religion. Hence, unfulfilling the most basic credential as well as authority to take such as decision. Rev. Mizutani also reassured that the people of Japan have immense respect and value for the Nobel laureate and assured that they will never accept any Dalai Lama anointed by China.
Dr. Arya Tsewang Gyalpo heartily expressed his gratitude to the delegations of the JBCWF for voicing their concern and calling on China to not interfere in Tibetan religious matters. He said that the action of the Japan Buddhist Conference will warn the Chinese leadership that the world is watching and that it will also encourage other religious organisations to release similar statements to deter Beijing from interfering in the selection of the future Dalai Lama with impunity.