Succession of the Dalai Lama, China plays the watch

“We have nothing more to expect from the representatives of the Dalai Lama in exile, who do not want to hear anything to find a good successor”, entrusted to The cross ten years ago, in Beijing, a high-ranking Chinese diplomat. In a tone of confidence he had continued, murmuring: “Anyway, time is on our side, the Dalai Lama is getting old and we are just waiting for his death. Afterwards, we will choose the next Dalai Lama that suits us. »

While, in exile in India since 1959, the spiritual leader of the ten million Tibetans will celebrate his eighty-seventh birthday on Wednesday July 6, the stakes of his perilous succession are more relevant than ever.

In Beijing “we are waiting for him to die”

“There have been no negotiations for years between the Chinese authorities and the Tibetan representatives of the Dalai Lamaconfirms Pierre-Antoine Donnet, a former journalist based in Beijing and specialist in the history of Tibet (1). And with Xi Jinping in power since 2012, the political approach is relatively simple for Beijing: we wait for him to die”. And the sinicization of Tibet continues to accelerate.

The fact remains that each year as his birthday approaches, the fourteenth Dalai Lama and 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Tenzin Gyatso, continues to cover his tracks. He assures that he feels in great shape and that his doctor told him that he will live “up to 113 years! “. A humorous way, which is customary, to thwart the Machiavellian plans of Chinese officials who want to replace the free choice of the Dalai Lama.

Avoiding the Panchem Lama Tragic Scenario

Thus, in 2014, he had raised the possibility of ending the cycle of rebirth and that the line of the Dalai Lamas ends. This announcement had caused amazement among the Tibetan community, in Tibet but also in the world, but it clearly aimed to avoid the tragic scenario of the succession of the Panchem Lama, the second highest spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, who died in 1989.

On May 17, 1995, following ancestral Buddhist rituals, the Dalai Lama designated a young boy, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, as the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama. Three days later, this son of a nomadic pastor, then 6 years old, had been kidnapped by communist China, which has since kept him incommunicado. Beijing has appointed its own Panchen Lama, Gyancain Norbu. Educated by Tibetan and Chinese tutors, Norbu is a member of the consultative assembly of the Chinese Parliament, a symbolic body with no real power.

China is increasingly sinicizing Tibet

“The Dalai Lama is well aware that if China appoints its next Communist-red Dalai Lama, it will be the end of Tibet, explains sinologist Marie Holzman, president of the Solidarité Chine association. The Chinese destruction of Tibetan culture aims to eradicate the identity of a people. Et Tibetan children educated today in boarding schools far from their parents will not even know that a Dalai Lama exists”.

In this context, the Dalai Lama seeks the best possible solution. “If the Tibetan issue is still unresolved, he announced that his reincarnation will see the light of day outside of China”, underlines Dolma Tsering, an exiled Tibetan Buddhist interviewed by the site Asialyst. According to her, “If there were two children recognized as Dalai Lamas, the Tibetans and the international community would not accept the one who was chosen by Beijing. This one would be nothing but a puppet under the orders of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party). » And for Marie Holzman there could be “uprisings of despair in Tibet”.

“Today, it would seem that the Dalai Lama has already worked out his succession…during his lifetime”, assures Pierre-Antoine Donnet, generally very well informed about the mysteries of the Buddhist world.In the past, the Dalai Lama had not ruled out that it was a woman.

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Succession of the Dalai Lama, China plays the watch

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