Beijing: China said Friday that any successor to the present Dalai Lama should be approved by it. China also ruled out recognition to any heir nominated by Dalai Lama him or by his followers. The reincarnation of the Dalai Lama and other grand Living Buddhas has been subjected to approval by the central government since the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). This claim was made in an official white paper issued by the Chinese government here. The document has also asserted that Tibet was an inseparable part of China since ancient times.
“In 1793, after dispelling Gurkha invaders, the Qing government restored order in Tibet. It promulgated the Imperially Approved Ordinance for Better Governance of Tibet improving systems by which the central government-administered Tibet,” the white paper said. The paper has been titled ‘Tibet Since 1951: Liberation, Development and Prosperity’.
The ordinance stipulated that the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama and other grand Living Buddhas had to follow the procedure of ‘drawing lots from the golden urn’ and that the selected candidate would be subject to approval by the central government of China, the document said.
The 14th Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 following a Chinese crackdown on an uprising by the local population in Tibet. India granted him political asylum and the Tibetan government-in-exile has been based in Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh since then.
The Dalai Lama is 85 years old now and the issue of his successor has gained prominence in the last couple of years due to his advanced age. The Dalai Lama’s succession issue was in the limelight, especially in the last few years after the US has stepped up campaign that the right relating to the reincarnation of Dalai Lama’s successor should be within the exclusive authority of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people.
The Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2020 (TPSA) passed by the US Congress makes it official United States policy that decisions regarding the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama are exclusively within the authority of the current Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhist leaders and the Tibetan people.
Chinese Foreign Ministry officials have been asserting time and again that while the institution of reincarnation of the Dalai Lama has been in existence for several hundred years, the 14th (present) Dalai Lama himself was found and recognised following religious rituals and historic conventions, and his succession was approved by China’s central government.
The white paper said by 2020, a total of 92 reincarnated ‘Living Buddhas’ had been identified and approved through traditional religious rituals and historical conventions for temples in Tibet.
Traditional religious activities are carried out regularly in accordance with the law. Examination on scriptures and subsequent promotion in academic degrees is also held in monasteries on a regular basis, it said. The white paper termed the demand for Tibetan independence as a product of imperialist aggression against China.
The paper also slammed the Dalai Lama group for promoting ‘Tibetan independence’. “Over the years, the 14th Dalai Lama and his supporters have continued to try to promote ‘Tibetan independence’. They have done so ‘by provoking incidents to jeopardise peace and stability in Tibet’, it said.
After the failure of their armed rebellion in 1959, the reactionaries of Tibet’s ruling class fled to India. They subsequently began to campaign for ‘Tibetan independence by force’. No country or government in the world has ever acknowledged the ‘independence of Tibet’, the paper pointed out.