Japanese Buddhists say they imagine Tibetans ought to decide the successor to the Dalai Lama in accordance with their Buddhist perception within the precept of rebirth, and that the Chinese language authorities shouldn’t have any say within the controversial centuries-old choice methodology.
China, which annexed Tibet in 1951, guidelines the western autonomous area with an iron hand and says solely Beijing can choose the subsequent non secular chief of Tibetan Buddhists, as acknowledged in Chinese language regulation.
However Tibetans imagine the Dalai Lama chooses the physique into which he’s reincarnated, a course of that has occurred 13 instances since 1391, when the primary Dalai Lama was born.
If China appoints his successor, it’ll additional erode the non secular and cultural id of Tibetans, who’ve been subjected to crackdowns by Beijing during times of unrest and whose non secular websites and facilities have been destroyed in recent times. Authorities view the unrest as acts of separatism that threaten China’s nationwide safety.
The 14th Dalai Lama, 87, whose authentic identify was Lhamo Thondup, was present in Tibet’s Amdo province, and on the age of two was acknowledged because the reincarnation of the non secular chief. He took on his full function as ruler of Tibet in November 1950, however a month later fled to India from Chinese language troops who had entered the area in 1949.
The present Dalai Lama, who resides in exile in Dharamsala, India, has grow to be an influential world determine due to his espousal of Buddhism and advocacy of rights for Tibetans.
The Japan Buddhist Convention for World Federation, an umbrella group of plenty of sects of Japanese Buddhism, which has tens of millions of followers in Japan and different international locations, has condemned China for interfering within the collection of Tibetan lamas and for claiming authority to nominate the reincarnation of the 14th Dalai Lama.
“We, the Japanese Buddhist[s], imagine that the Tibetans ought to determine the succession of the Dalai Lama based mostly on Tibetan Buddhist tradition and historical past,” says a assertion the group issued. “The nationwide coverage of the Individuals’s Republic of China is communism, and communism is predicated on the precept of non-religion. Due to this fact, it’s a contradiction to permit individuals who don’t imagine in faith to determine who the nation’s non secular chief shall be.”
The Central Tibet Administration, the formal identify of the Tibetan government-in-exile, issued information of the assertion on Tuesday when representatives from the group visited the Workplace of Tibet in Japan.
“It’s of utmost significance for the Japan Buddhist Federation to spotlight the problem of succession of His Holiness the Dalai Lama as Tibet’s wealthy tradition and faith is on the edge of destruction below China’s occupation of the land,” mentioned Eihiro Mizutani, secretary-general of the umbrella group.
“China continues to carry its illegal proper to intervene within the collection of the subsequent Dalai Lama; subsequently, we hope and imagine that the federal government of Japan may also be important of the Chinese language authorities’s insurance policies in the direction of Tibetan Buddhism and the Dalai Lama,” he mentioned. “The difficulty of the successor of the Dalai Lama is essential to world peace.”
Dr. Arya Tsewang Gyalpo, consultant of the Liaison Workplace of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for Japan and East Asia, mentioned the Chinese language authorities has violated the fundamental human rights of Tibetans inside Tibet for many years.
“Now the Chinese language authorities is aggressively declaring their interference within the succession strategy of the subsequent Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhism, so a pointy message to China to again off from interfering within the succession course of was a very long time coming,” he advised RFA.
The Dalai Lama insists he’s in good well being regardless of his advancing age. The Kashag, the cupboard of the Central Tibetan Administration below the steerage of the Dalai Lama, has mentioned it believes he’ll reside to the age of 113 because the non secular chief has predicted. The Kashag additionally has mentioned that the system of recognizing reincarnated non secular beings is a non secular observe distinctive to Tibetan Buddhism.
Chinese language authorities intend to put in a pro-Beijing puppet chief in place of the present Dalai Lama after he dies, giving it a possibility to agency up its management of the area, in line with a report issued in 2022 by the Worldwide Tibet Community, a world coalition of Tibet-related teams.
Translated by Tenzin Dickyi for RFA Tibetan. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin. Edited by Malcolm Foster.