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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Dalai Lama 'may pick successor'

November 22, 2007

November 20, 2007
The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, says he is considering 
breaking with centuries of tradition and naming his own successor.

Usually, following the death of a Dalai Lama, senior Tibetan Buddhist 
officials, guided by dreams and signs, identify a young child to 
succeed him.

But the Dalai Lama said he feared China would try to influence this 
process.

He said he was considering whether his successor should be picked by 
him, or elected by high ranking Buddhist monks.

"If the Tibetan people want to keep the Dalai Lama system, one of the 
possibilities I have been considering with my aides is to select the 
next Dalai Lama while I'm alive," he told the Japanese newspaper 
Sankei Shimbun during a visit to Japan.

Tibetans are concerned over what will happen when the 72-year-old 
Dalai Lama dies, fearing that Beijing will try to take control of the 
succession.

"If China selected my successor after my death, the people of Tibet 
would not support him as there would be no Tibetan heart in him," he 
said.

Chinese intervention

Beijing claims sovereignty over Tibet, which it has controlled since 
invading in 1950. However, many Tibetans remain loyal to the Dalai 
Lama, who fled in 1959.

China has opposed his involvement in politics, viewing him as a 
separatist, and has intervened before.

When he picked a six-year-old boy to be the second most important 
figure in Tibetan Buddhism - the Panchen Lama - China detained the 
boy and selected a replacement who was loyal to Chinese rule.

Beijing has denounced the Dalai Lama's many foreign trips, including 
recent visits to the US, Germany, and now Japan.

It says he should stay out of politics and restrict himself to a 
religious role.

Buddhists believe the current Dalai Lama is the reincarnation of his 
predecessors.

He was identified by a search party of High Lamas that scoured rural 
Tibet looking for a child born around the same time as the previous 
Dalai Lama died.

As a young child he successfully identified the prayer beads and 
relics that belonged to his predecessor.

The Dalai Lama has always said if he were reborn it would not be in a 
country ruled by China or anywhere that was not free.
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/7103841.stm

Published: 2007/11/20 15:02:29 GMT
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