By Tenzin Dharpo
Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Photo- The independent
DHARAMSHALA, Nov. 14: Days after Chinese Ambassador to India’s article ‘China’s Tibet: A story of progress’ was published in a mainstream Indian daily, the exile Tibetan government, known officially as the Central Tibetan Administration, hit out against the claim saying it is “misleading” and “not true”.
In his op-ed, Ambassador Sun Weidong reiterated his government’s stand of claiming authority over the reincarnation of Buddhist masters and how each “living Buddha” must bear the stamp of approval of Beijing. He wrote, “The Chinese government promulgated the management measures for the reincarnation of living Buddhas in Tibetan Buddhism, putting the reincarnation of living Buddhas under the rule of law”.
“At present, there are 1,331 living Buddhas in China, among which 356 are in Tibet. Their reincarnation must all comply with national laws and regulations, religious rituals and traditional customs,” Sun further asserted.
The spokesperson and Secretary of CTA’s Information wing, Tsewang Gyalpo Arya refuted the claims. “All the Dalai Lamas were selected as per age old Tibetan religious tradition, and the Chinese claim of authority on the reincarnation of the Dalai Lamas is a blatant lie and distortion of historical and religious facts,” wrote Arya.
“China communist party does not believe in religion; they consider religion as poison. So, it is unethical and ridiculous on the part of CCP to interfere in Tibetan religious matter. Tibetans have rejected this decree as gross violation of their religious freedom,” he further said.
China’s growing assertion over the reincarnation of Buddhist masters is a fairly new issue with observers saying that the larger objective is to install their own 15th Dalai Lama.
During an interview in March 2019, 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.”