China fumes over Dalai Lama plan to name a successor

November 23rd, 2007 - 2:58 pm ICT by admin  

London, Nov.23 (ANI): China has accused the Dalai Lama of violating the religious rituals and historical conventions of Tibetan Buddhism by suggesting he might appoint a successor before his death instead of relying on reincarnation.
According to The Independent, Beijing’s latest broadside against the Dalai Lama is a sign of heightening tensions between the central government and the man Tibetans see as a god-king.
The Dalai Lama has said Tibetans would not accept a successor who was selected by China after his death, prompting an angry response from Beijing.
“The reincarnation of the living Buddha is a unique way of succession of Tibetan Buddhism and follows relatively complete religious rituals and historical conventions. The Dalai’s remarks obviously violated the religious rituals and historical conventions, said Liu Jianchao, a Foreign Ministry spokesman.
The Chinese see the Dalai Lama, 72, as a dangerous separatist. They accuse him of continuing to inspire demands for independence among the 2.7 million Tibetans living in the Tibetan Autonomous Region and refuse to allow him back inside its borders.
The Tibetan leader is based in Dharamsala and insists he is a moderate who preaches a “middle way”, which seeks special autonomy for Tibet within China, not independence.
He has asked to be allowed to come to China to visit holy sites such as Wutaishan, a sacred mountain devoted to Tibet’s Buddha of Wisdom. He also wants to see for himself the astonishing economic progress that China has made.
Even though Tibetans remain fiercely loyal to the figure they regard as a god-king, who fled the capital Lhasa in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule, there is a younger breed of hard-line Tibetan nationalist emerging to fill the power vacuum his death will inevitably leave.
The second most important figure in Tibetan Buddhism, the 11th Panchen Lama, Gyaltsen Norbu, was anointed by Beijing while still a child in 1995. The six-year-old picked by the Dalai Lama was whisked away by the government and is thought to be under house arrest.
China has been accused of simply waiting for the Dalai Lama to die, avoiding any real discussions over the future of the region. When he dies, they can simply install a replacement of their choosing.
China is keen to ensure whoever succeeds the Dalai Lama is someone it can do business with and on its terms.
Relations between the Beijing leadership and the Dalai Lama have been under serious pressure following a number of high-profile appearances for the Dalai Lama, including the award of the United States’ highest honour, the Congressional Gold Medal, by George Bush last month. (ANI)

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