The government of China has been at odds with Tibetan Buddhists for many generations, and many years ago they sent the Dalai Lama into exile and have run a massive smear campaign against him ever since. Now they are claiming that they should be the ones to decide who the next Dalai Lama will be.
The Chinese government has been officially atheist since the reign of Mao and have been opposed to the spread of Buddhism within its borders. Their feud with the Dalai Lama is not purely philosophical though, they have many other political motivations as well, namely the fact that the government of China have been fighting with Tibetan Buddhists over the region of Tibet since before the 1950’s.
The area was traditionally fairly independent until the Chinese government under Mao began to take it over and assimilate the region into the country of China. Now, Buddhists have become a persecuted minority in Tibet, where they once lived in peace.
To add insult to injury, the Chinese government is now claiming that they have the authority to dictate who the next Dalai Lama will be.
Traditionally, it has been the responsibility of the High Lamas of the Gelugpa tradition and the Buddhist Tibetan government to decide who the next Dalai Lama will be. In theory, the new Dalai Lama is believed to be a reincarnation of the old one. However, since the Tibetan government has been taken over by China, they believe that they are the ones who should decide.
This week, Norbu Dondup from the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China said that “no matter what the Dalai Lama says or does, he can’t deny to central government’s right to confirm the new incarnation.”
Later, during the 50th anniversary of the Chinese takeover of Tibet, Zhu Weiqun of the Chinese government said, “The 14th Dalai Lama hasn’t shown a serious or respectful attitude on this issue. He sometimes says he will reincarnate as a foreigner in a place where he visits, sometimes to a woman. When someone gives him a bottle of honey, he would happily say he is going to become a bee in the next life.”
Considering that the Chinese government is officially atheist, opposed to Buddhism, and has no traditional connection to the selection of the Dalai Lama, their claim to this right makes absolutely no sense.
Lobsang Sangay, the Tibetan Prime Minister in exile responded to the announcement by saying “It’s like Fidel Castro saying, ‘I will select the next Pope and all the Catholics should follow. That is ridiculous.”
In this video Dalai Lama speaks his mind about China, it’s people, his relations with China and what he feels about the culture of China.
John Vibes writes for True Activist and is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war.
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