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Dalai Lama hits out at succession ‘meddling’

2 July 2011 No Comment

The Dalai Lama has ruled out any role to China’s leadership in deciding who succeeds him as the leader of Tibetan Buddhism and called Beijing’s meddling in the issue “a disgrace”.

‘One thing I want to make clear. As far as my own rebirth is concerned, the final authority is myself and no one else, and obviously not China’s Communists,” the 76-year-old Nobel Peace laureate said while delivering his statement for the 52nd anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising in 1959.

The Dalai Lama gave up his role as Tibet’s political leader in favour of an elected exile government in May.

He has said the next Dalai Lama – who would be the 15th incarnation of the spiritual leader – will be born in exile and even floated the idea of choosing his own successor.

China said that the Dalai Lama will be reincarnated in Chinese-controlled Tibet and has accused the current Dalai Lama of violating religious tradition.

Observing that China’s Communists are atheists and that they donot believe in reincarnation, the Dalai Lama asked how China can decide a matter based on belief in which it has no belief. ‘This is a religious matter. It’s a disgrace to see that they want to control that’, he said.

The Dalai Lama fled into exile in India in 1959, nine years after Communist forces entered the region. He rejected the suggestion that now that he is retired from politics he might be willing to discuss with China his return to Tibet without linking it to conditions related to Tibetan autonomy or China’s treatment of Tibetans.

He rejected the very idea. He made it clear that the Tibetan issue was ‘not just my return’. He added his concern was for the basic rights of the Tibetans and their culture.

‘As soon as China’s government shows courage to face the reality, I am ready to go there to help them to promote genuine reconciliation’, he said.

The Dalai Lama and his representatives have held nine rounds of talks with Beijing over the years but headway remained elusive.

Beijing says the Dalai Lama is welcome to come back if he accepts Tibet as an inalienable part of China.  on his part, the Tibetan spiritual leader has repeatedly denied seeking independence for his homeland.

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