China claims right to select next Dalai Lama

Present Dalai Lama may find successor in India
Against the backdrop of celebrations to mark the countdown to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Chinese government has angered religious- freedom activists by attempting to assert greater influence over the choice of a successor to the Dalai Lama.

“The so-called reincarnated living Buddha without government approval is illegal and invalid,” Beijing said in a 14-part order purporting to regulate the reincarnation of Tibet’s Buddhist leaders.

Tibetan Buddhists believe that their lamas are reincarnated from departed lamas dating back to the 12th century.

The August 3 order implements a provision that was put in place as part of the Chinese government’s 2005 regulations on religion, said Scott Flipse, a senior policy analyst at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.


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