No Reincarnations Without Approval
- From news.com.au (Australia):
No reincarnations without approval
A SENIOR Tibetan lama and Chinese government
advisers have defended contentious rules
banning reincarnations of "living Buddhas"
The rules are apparently aimed at empowering
China to name the next Dalai Lama when the
14th and current Dalai Lama dies.
Last July, China's State Administration of
Religious Affairs issued regulations banning
reincarnations of living Buddhas, or holy
monks, who failed to seek government
approval, ostensibly to manipulate the
centuries-old practice and legitimise future
appointments by the atheist Communist Party.
Tibetan lama Tubdain Kaizhub, himself a
living Buddha and vice-chairman of Tibet's
Political Consultative Conference - an advisory
body to the regional parliament - affirmed
the regulations on Monday, China's official
Xinhua news agency reported.
Xinhua quoted Soi'ham Rinzin, a member of the
advisory body, as saying the 14th Dalai Lama
ignored religious ritual and historical
convention to unilaterally decide reincarnations,
disturbing religious order.
The Dalai Lama, 72, fled into exile in India in
1959 after an abortive uprising against Communist
rule, but remains the single most important
influence in Tibetan life.
Critics say China continues to repress Tibetans'
religious aspirations, especially their
veneration for the Dalai Lama, the Nobel Peace
Prize winner whom China denounces as a "separatist".
The rules, which came into force on September 1,
bar any Buddhist monk living outside China from
seeking reincarnation for himself or recognising
a "living Buddha".
Reincarnations of about 1000 living Buddhas have
been approved in Tibet and Tibetan populated areas
of Sichuan, Qinghai, Gansu and Yunnan since 1991,
according to a government website.
In 1995, the Dalai Lama and China's Communist
authorities chose rival reincarnations of the
10th Panchen Lama, who died in 1989. The Panchen
Lama is the second-highest figure in Tibet's
The boy anointed by the Dalai Lama, then aged six,
swiftly disappeared from public view, prompting
international rights groups to call him the
"world's youngest political prisoner".