As the world vigorously debates over the issue of “reincarnation” of the Dalai Lama, his private office at Dharamsala has disputed the report in a German newspaper quoting the Nobel Peace Laureate as saying that he may be the last spiritual leader in the lineage.
“We had a Dalai Lama for almost five centuries. The 14th Dalai Lama now is very popular. Let us then finish with a popular Dalai Lama,” he was quoted as saying. “If a weak Dalai Lama comes along, then it will just disgrace to the Dalai Lama,” he had added, according to the report.
A prompt response came from Chinese authorities, telling the Dalai Lama that he has no right to abandon the tradition of re-incarnation and should respect the historic practice, which exiled Tibetans see a bid to control Tibetans through their most revered leader by playing the re-birth card.
“The (present) 14th Dalai Lama has ulterior motives, and is seeking to distort and negate history, which is damaging to the normal order of Tibetan Buddhism.” said China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.
Tenzin Taklah, private secretary to the Dalai Lama, said the spiritual leader’s quote in German newspaper Welt am Sonntagis was incomplete and only part of a much longer response to the question on reincarnation.
“His Holiness went on to say the ultimate decision on whether the institution of the Dalai Lama should continue or cease to exist will lies with Tibetan people,” said Tenzin.
Meanwhile, a official at the Department of Information and International Relations (DIIR) Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) sees China’s response to the report as motivated and a bid to control the Tibetans through their most revered spiritual leader.
“At times the Chinese communist rules, rather say Atheist government, calls His Holiness the Dalai Lama names. Still it wants the spiritual leader to reborn,” said Tsering Wangchuk, press officer DIIR.
“It clearly reflects the China’s motive to control Tibetan through their most revered leader. But we, Tibetans, reject China’s divisive policy,” he added.
Born in 1935, Tenzin Gyatso was identified as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama at the age of two.
He fled Tibet after failed uprising against the Chinese rule in 1959.