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Dalai Lama's envoy rejects China's remark on reincarnation

March 15, 2009

12 Mar 2009
Author : DPA
Asia World News

Taipei - The Dalai Lama's envoy to Taiwan Thursday blasted China's claim
that the Dalai Lama's reincarnation must be endorsed by Beijing, saying
it should be endorsed by the Tibetan people. Dawa Tsering, head of the
Dalai Lama's representative office in Taipei, made the response after
Qiangba Puncog, chairman of the Tibetan regional government, said the
Beijing government must endorse the Dalai Lama's reincarnation and would
not recognize any reincarnation chosen by the Tibetan
government-in-exile or pro-Dalai Lama monasteries.

Qiangba Puncog made the statement to the Xinhua news agency, marking the
first time Chinese authorities have officially commented on the
selection of the reincarnation of the 14th Dalai Lama.

In exile in India since 1959, the Dalai Lama, 73, says he is in
excellent health, although it has been rumoured that China has been
preparing to find the Dalai Lama's reincarnation inside China as soon as
the Dalai Lama has died, in order to maintain its grip on Tibet.

Qiangba Puncog said that the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama must follow
historical conventions and required religious rituals and, more
importantly among the traditions, approval from the central government.

But Dawa dismissed Qiangba Puncog's statement as ridiculous.

"When he said 'historical conventions,' he distorted history, because in
Tibetan history, the Dalai Lama's reincarnation was approved by Tibetan
people themselves, without political influence from the outside," he
told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

Dawa also dismissed as a "joke" Qianbgba Puncog's remark that, if the
Tibetan government-in-exile selects Dalai Lama's reincarnation, Beijing
will not only reject it but also mobilize the Tibetan people to oppose it.

"Let's take it as a joke, because I doubt if Beijing has the power to
mobilize the Tibetan people to reject Dalai Lama's reincarnation
selected by the Tibetan government-ini-exile. Even if they use force, I
doubt if they can succeed," he said.

Dawa said the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala, northern India,
would probably not respond to Qiangba Puncog's statement as Qiangba
Puncog, a China-appointed Tibetan official, "is only a puppet and his
status is not very high."

The Dalai Lama is the supreme spiritual leader in Tibetan Buddhism, and
is held in high esteem by both Tibetan exiles and Tibetans inside Tibet.

He has said that after his death, it is up to Tibetan people to decide
if there should be a reincarnation.

Selection of the Dalai Lama is a complicated ritual which includes
finding boys born around the time of the Dalai Lama's death, showing
them the deceased Dalai Lam's personal belongings and checking their
reaction, relying on instructions or drawings left by the Dalai Lama.

In 1995, China and the Tibetan government-in-exile clashed when both the
Dalai Lama and Beijing named a reincarnation of the 10th Panchan Lama,
the second-highest leader in Tibetan Buddhism.

China has put the Dalai Lama-selected reincarnation of the Panchan Lama
under house arrest, but many Tibetans refuse to accept the Beijing-named
reincarnation of the Panchan Lama, calling him the fake Panchan Lama.
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