News / Asia

China Warns Dalai Lama About Choosing Successor

Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama attends a conference called
Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama attends a conference called "Living Together with Responsibility and Cooperation" in Sao Paulo September 17, 2011.
Peter Simpson

China is warning the Dalai Lama he does not have the legal right to decide if he should be reincarnated.  The statement comes after the 76-year-old said Saturday he plans decide when he is “about 90” whether he should be reincarnated and that China should have no say in the matter.

The Chinese foreign ministry warned the Dalai Lama Monday that only Beijing can approve his successor.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei says any decision by the Dalai Lama to appoint a successor through traditional reincarnation would break Chinese law.

He insists that China endorses a policy of religious freedom including respecting and protecting succession in Tibetan Buddhism leadership.  But Hong stresses China's historical claim to its rule over Tibet and says the title of Dalai Lama is only conferred by the central government in Beijing and is illegal otherwise.

The Dalai Lama formally stepped down as the head of the Tibetan government-in-exile in July, when Harvard-trained scholar Lobsang Sangay was sworn in as the new political leader.

On Saturday, the Dalai Lama said he will decide when he is about 90 years of age if he will be reincarnated. Traditionally, Tibetan monks identify a boy who shows signs he is a reincarnation of a late leader.

The 14th Dalai Lama says he will set clear guidelines to recognize the next leader while he was still physically and mentally fit to do.  He says this will ensure there is no room for what he describes as deception.

The Dalai Lama set out his plan after a gathering of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism in the northern Indian town, Dharamsala. where the Tibetan government sits in exile following China's military invasion and occupation in 1950.

The former prime minister of the exiled Tibetan government, Samdhong Rinpioche, says the meeting is discussing even if the Dalai Lama, as an institution, should continue.

"During this congregation, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama had conferred with the heads of religious traditions regarding his interim declaration about whether it is necessary to continue the reincarnation of Dalai Lama institution after the 14th," explained the former prime minister. "As he had announced as early as 1969 whether the Dalai Lama institution should continue or not, will be decided by the Tibetan People and His Holiness' position still continued."

The Dalai Lama, who fled the country in 1959 and has never returned, says he will consult the senior lamas, the Tibetan public and other concerned people who follow Tibetan Buddhism.

He says he will then re-evaluate whether the institution of the Dalai Lama should continue.

He says China will not have a say on the matter.

China is likely to appoint its own successor regardless.

This raises the prospect of two Tibetan spiritual leaders, with one recognized by Beijing and the other chosen by Tibetan exiles.

A similar scenario occurred in 1995 when China rejected the Dalai Lama's choice to be the next Panchen Lama and picked its own reincarnation, Gyaincain Norbu. The Chinese-raised Norbu is now 21 and publicly backs Beijing's rule of Tibet.

The Dalai Lama chose Gedhun Choekyi Nyima.  He has not been seen since 1995 when he was detained by Chinese security forces.


You May Like

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs