New York, 18 November (IANS). According to an American official overseeing international religious affairs, the US supported the right of Tibetan Buddhists to choose the next Dalai Lama and denied the Chinese Communist Party this right.
Ambassador for International Religious Freedom Samuel Brownback said on Tuesday that the United States opposes China’s selection of the next Dalai Lama.
He said, he has no right to do so. They have no religious basis to do so.
Significantly, the 85-year-old Dalai Lama is the 14th leader of Tibetan Buddhists and took refuge in India, opposing the Chinese takeover of Tibet.
Traditionally, the Dalai Lama dictates where the Dalai Lama should be selected, but the Chinese government has insisted that it is his right to determine who becomes the leader of Tibetan Buddhists.
“We think it is completely wrong for the Chinese Communist Party to say that they have this right,” Brownback told reporters during a telephone briefing.
He said, Tibetan Buddhists have successfully elected their leader for hundreds of years and they still have the right to do so.
The Dalai Lama said that when he reached around 90, he would consult other Lamas, Tibetan people and followers of religion to decide whether the institution of the Dalai Lama should continue.
He further stated that if it was decided that there should be a successor, the officers of the Dalai Lama’s Gaden Fodrang Trust would have the primary responsibility of identifying the person as per previous traditions and would give written instructions for the same.
The Dalai Lama warned that no recognition or acceptance should be given to a candidate selected for political ends by anyone, including the People’s Republic of China.
MNS / SGK