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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

May skip reincarnation this time, Dalai Lama says

November 22, 2007

Last Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 | 12:30 PM ET
CBC News

The Dalai Lama is floating the idea of breaking a centuries-old 
Tibetan Buddhist tradition by naming his successor or letting monks 
elect the next spiritual leader, according to news reports.

His comments in Japan come on the heels of a recent order by China 
that it must approve Tibet's future spiritual leaders.

The order has fuelled concerns that China may forcibly choose a pro-
Beijing leader once the current Dalai Lama is dead.

"If the Tibetan people wish to uphold the Dalai Lama system, one 
possibility would be to select the next Dalai Lama while I am still 
living," the Dalai Lama was quoted as saying in an interview with the 
Japanese national newspaper, Sankei Shimbun.

Tenzin Gyatso, who is the 14th reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, told 
the newspaper that among the options being considered is the 
democratic selection by the high monks of Tibetan Buddhism or the 
appointment of a successor by himself.
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According to Tibetan Buddhist tradition, monks search for the 
reincarnation of the lama after the spiritual leader's death, but 
Gyatso seems to believe Tibetans may support a break in the custom.

"The Tibetan people would not support a successor selected by China 
after my death," the Dalai Lama was quoted as saying to the newspaper.

China's order, which came into force in September, says that all 
future lama appointments related to Tibetan Buddhism "must get 
government approval," according to the state news agency Xinhua.

The order also keeps outside sources from having "influence" on the 
selection process, the report said.

China's Communist-led government has already named a new 11th Panchen 
Lama, the second-highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism.

In 1995, the Dalai Lama chose six-year-old Gendun Choekyi Nyima as 
the 11th Panchen Lama. The boy and his family disappeared soon after 
and have not been heard from.

China's government later named Gyaltsen Norbu as the 11th Panchen 
Lama. They said Norbu and his family are being kept in a secret 
location for their protection.

The Dalai Lama and his followers have lived in exile in India since 
fleeing in 1959.

His latest comments were made during a nine-day visit in Japan where 
officials, who are seeking to improve relations with China, gave him 
the cold shoulder.

His worldwide tour also brought him to Canada in October when he met 
Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

China objected to Harper's meeting with the Dalai Lama, whom they 
view as a dangerous separatist.
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