China: The Dalai Lama isn’t allowed to not reincarnate

The Dalai Lama’s suggestion that his successor may be appointed while he is still alive or even elected is, unsurprisingly, not so popular with Tibet’s Chinese rulers:  But Padma Choling, the Chinese-appointed governor of Tibet, said that the Dalai Lama had no right to abolish the institution of reincarnation, underscoring China’s hardline stance on one ...

PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP/Getty Images
PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP/Getty Images
PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP/Getty Images

The Dalai Lama's suggestion that his successor may be appointed while he is still alive or even elected is, unsurprisingly, not so popular with Tibet's Chinese rulers: 

But Padma Choling, the Chinese-appointed governor of Tibet, said that the Dalai Lama had no right to abolish the institution of reincarnation, underscoring China's hardline stance on one of the most sensitive issues for the restless and remote region.

"I don't think this is appropriate. It's impossible, that's what I think," he said on the sidelines of the annual meeting of China's parliament, when asked about the Dalai Lama's suggestion that his successor may not be his reincarnation.

The Dalai Lama’s suggestion that his successor may be appointed while he is still alive or even elected is, unsurprisingly, not so popular with Tibet’s Chinese rulers: 

But Padma Choling, the Chinese-appointed governor of Tibet, said that the Dalai Lama had no right to abolish the institution of reincarnation, underscoring China’s hardline stance on one of the most sensitive issues for the restless and remote region.

"I don’t think this is appropriate. It’s impossible, that’s what I think," he said on the sidelines of the annual meeting of China’s parliament, when asked about the Dalai Lama’s suggestion that his successor may not be his reincarnation.

"We must respect the historical institutions and religious rituals of Tibetan Buddhism," said Padma Choling, a Tibetan and a former soldier in the People’s Liberation Army. "I am afraid it is not up to anyone whether to abolish the reincarnation institution or not."

China’s concern for preserving Tibetan religious traditions here is truly touching. 

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating

Tag: China

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