By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Mar. 21: China's latest claim over the reincarnation of the foremost Buddhist figure, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, has been rubbished by pro-Tibet group, International Campaign for Tibet. The Washington DC based ICT said that Beijing’s communist government disregards tradition of the Tibetan people and violates their religious freedom.
“Not only do the Chinese government’s claims completely disregard centuries-old Tibetan Buddhist religious tradition; they also obviously violate the universal principle of religious freedom. The regulations invoked by Beijing clearly do not meet international standards, as they openly deny the fundamental right of Tibetan Buddhist communities to follow their own spiritual process without government interference,” ICT said in a statement on Wednesday.
On Monday in an interview, the Dalai Lama reiterated that the authority over his reincarnation rests solely with him and not China. He said, “China considers Dalai Lama’s reincarnation as something very important. They have more concern about the next Dalai Lama than me.
“In future, in case you see two Dalai Lamas come, one from here, in free country, one chosen by Chinese, then nobody will trust, nobody will respect (the one chosen by China). So that’s an additional problem for the Chinese! It’s possible, it can happen.”
On Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang responded by saying, “The 14th Dalai Lama himself was found and recognized following religious rituals and historical conventions and his succession was approved by the then central government. Therefore, reincarnation of living Buddhas including the Dalai Lama must comply with Chinese laws and regulations and follow religious rituals and historical conventions.”
Shuang also said that the reincarnation system is respected and protected by such legal instruments as Regulations on Religious Affairs and Measures on the Management of the Reincarnation of Living Buddhas.
ICT said that these so-called regulations were recently passed by Chinese Communist Party-controlled institutions—the “Regulations on Religious Affairs” is predated by the centuries old tradition and institution of the Dalai Lamas.
“The Dalai Lama throughout history have been recognized following traditional Tibetan Buddhist practices, not Chinese Communist Party rules. The Dalai Lama, who has both legal and moral authority over the issue, has categorically maintained that only he can make a decision on his reincarnation,” the Washington based group further asserted.