Home / Press Conferences

Dalai Lama 'needs to discuss way forward'

By Li Yang (China Daily)

Updated: 2015-03-12 07:27:09


Dalai Lama 'needs to discuss way forward'
Zhu Weiqun, head of the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), answers questions from journalists at a press conference in Beijing, March 11, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

A senior political adviser urged the Dalai Lama on Wednesday to have a serious discussion with the Chinese government about his future.

The official said the Dalai Lama's reincarnation has to be endorsed by the Chinese authorities rather than by himself.

Last year, the Dalai Lama, who will turn 80 in July, said he does not want to have a successor and that the Tibetan Buddhism tradition of reincarnation should cease with his death.

The political adviser also said, "The Chinese government will never discuss the Dalai Lama's 'autonomy of greater Tibet' with him."

Zhu Weiqun, head of the Ethnic and Religious Affairs Committee of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, was speaking at a news conference in Beijing.

"The Dalai Lama should discard his separatist stance and his cheating 'middle path' and give up attempts to incite self-immolations and sabotage in Tibet," Zhu said in reply to a question on the effects China's policies have had on dissuading foreign leaders from meeting the Dalai Lama.

"Fewer people have visited the Dalai Lama in recent years. But someone, who does not know good from bad, still met and dined with him. ... The stability and prosperity of Tibet has accelerated the decline of the Dalai Lama's influence," Zhu said.

Early last month, US President Barack Obama attended a high-profile breakfast in Washington DC, at which the Dalai Lama was present. The pair did not meet directly at the event, but appeared to acknowledge each other from their tables.

"As long as Tibet maintains its stability and development, it will become more difficult for the Dalai Lama ... around the world, and his status will be reduced," Zhu added.

Tibetan Buddhists traditionally believe that the soul of a Living Buddha is reborn after death, and candidates for a successor may be found through the interpretation of arcane signs.

A successor should be born within a certain period of a Living Buddha's death and can be decided by drawing lots from a gold urn. Since the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), successors have had to be approved by the central authorities.

Padma Choling, chairman of the Standing Committee of the Tibet Autonomous Regional People's Congress and a Tibetan himself, said in Beijing on Monday, "If the central government had not approved it, how could he (the current Dalai Lama) have become the 14th Dalai Lama? He couldn't. It is a serious procedure.

"I think that ... he is profaning religion and Tibetan Buddhism," he said.

Zhu criticized the current Dalai Lama's "irresponsible and disrespectful attitude" toward reincarnation, citing the political exile's earlier claims that his reincarnation could see him return as "a woman, a foreigner or even a bee".

"It is obvious the Dalai Lama just uses his religious title as a tool for his separatist political conspiracy," Zhu said.

China's Tibet autonomous region remains stable and prosperous after a riot on March 14, 2008, in Lhasa, that the authorities have attributed to the Dalai Lama clique and that claimed 13 civilians' lives.

Xinhua contributed to this story.