Tibetan Buddhist leader and Nobel peace laureate Dalai Lama feels his next reincarnation could be from India. “In future, in case you see two Dalai Lamas come, one from here, in free country, one chosen by Chinese, then nobody will trust, nobody will respect . It's possible, it can happen,” he said.
China, which took control of Tibet in 1950, brands the year-old Nobel peace laureate a dangerous separatist. Dalai Lama spoke after Tibetans in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh celebrated the anniversary of him escaping from Lhasa, Tibet in 1959. Dalai Lama fled to India during the Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule and has since called for linguistic and cultural autonomy in Tibet. China has said its leaders have the right to approve the Dalai Lama's successor, as a legacy inherited from China's emperors. "The Chinese government has policy of freedom of religious belief. We have regulation on religious affairs and regulation on the reincarnation system in Tibetan Buddhism. We respect and protect such ways of Tibetan Buddhism," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang.
As per Tibetan traditions, Dalai Lama is reincarnated after his death and the new person is appointed his successor. The tradition is a sacred one for Tibetans. They suspect any Chinese role as a ploy to exert influence on the community. Born in 1935, the current Dalai Lama was identified as the reincarnation of his predecessor when he was just two years old. The Dalai Lama said contact between Tibetans living in their homeland and in exile was increasing, but that no formal meetings have happened between Chinese and his officials since 2010. Whether or not to retain the role of a Dalai Lama should be retained after his death could be discussed during a meeting of Tibetan Buddhists in India later this year, he said.
“If the majority of really want to keep this institution, then this institution will remain,” he said.
“Our strength, our power is based on truth. Chinese power based on gun,” the Dalai Lama said. “So for short term, gun is much more decisive, but long term truth is more powerful,” he said about the Tibet situation.