China says Dalai Lama’s successor has to be approved by it

Beijing: A day after 83-year-old Nobel peace laureate and Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama said that his incarnation could be found in India after his death, China today said the next spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism has to be approved by it.

“Reincarnation is the unique way of Tibetan Buddhism. It has fixed rituals and systems,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang in response to Lama’s statements. Geng added that Chinese government had policy of freedom of religious belief and that the country had regulation on religious affairs and regulation on the reincarnation system in Tibetan Buddhism and that they respected and protected these ways.

Dalai Lama is a title given to spiritual leaders of Tibetan people and the current spiritual leader was identified as the reincarnation of his predecessor when he was just two years old in 1935. The Dalai Lama, who had fled to India from Tibet in 1959 during the Tibetan uprising, had on Monday said that his incarnation could be found in India after his death and that a nominee by Beijing would not be respected.

“The reincarnation system has been there for hundreds of years. The 14th Dalai has also been recognised in the religious rituals and was approved by the central government. So the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama should follow the national rules and regulations and the religious rituals,” Geng added.

NT Bureau