China wants to choose the next Dalai Lama. Most of us are aware of the conflict between China and the Tibetan Monks. Ever since Mao came to power, China has become an atheist country under communist rule. The lands of Tibet have been contested and fought over ever since the 1950’s. This has lead to the Dalai Lama being exiled from his country many years ago. Ever since then the Chinese government has run a massive smear campaign against him.
With the Chinese occupation of Tibet, Buddhists have become a minority and outcasts in their own country where they lived in peace. To make things even worse, the communist government now claims that they have the authority to dictate who the next Dalai Lama will be.
Traditionally, it has been the responsibility of the High Lamas of the Gelugpa tradition and the Buddhist Tibetan government to decide who the next Dalai Lama will be. In theory, the new Dalai Lama is believed to be a reincarnation of the old one. However, since the Tibetan government has been taken over by China, they believe that they are the ones who should decide.
Norbu Dondup from the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China said that “no matter what the Dalai Lama says or does, he can’t deny to central government’s right to confirm the new incarnation.”
Later, during the 50th anniversary of the Chinese takeover of Tibet, Zhu Weiqun of the Chinese government said, “The 14th Dalai Lama hasn’t shown a serious or respectful attitude on this issue. He sometimes says he will reincarnate as a foreigner in a place where he visits, sometimes to a woman. When someone gives him a bottle of honey, he would happily say he is going to become a bee in the next life.”
Considering that the Chinese government is officially atheist, opposed to Buddhism, and has no traditional connection to the selection of the Dalai Lama, their claim to this right makes absolutely no sense.