Date
19 November 2017
Protesters with a portrait of the Dalai Lama march to the Chinese consulate in San Francisco Tuesday to commemorate the 56th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising. Photo: AFP
Protesters with a portrait of the Dalai Lama march to the Chinese consulate in San Francisco Tuesday to commemorate the 56th anniversary of the Tibetan uprising. Photo: AFP

China says Dalai Lama less influential but must reincarnate

The Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, is becoming less influential in Tibet and abroad, but his suggestion that he will not reincarnate is still a “betrayal” of the religion and the country, a top Chinese official said Wednesday.

China says the Dalai Lama, who fled into exile in India after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, is a violent separatist.

The Buddhist monk denies espousing violence and says he only wants genuine autonomy for Tibet.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate is being received by fewer foreign leaders these days, because of the angry responses such meetings elicit from China, the world’s second-largest economy, Reuters reported.

Zhu Weiqun, chairman of the ethnic and religious affairs committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said such meetings would cause those leaders “who don’t know right from wrong” to “lose status” in the eyes of Chinese.

“At the same time, the international media is less and less interested in the Dalai Lama,” Zhu, known for his hardline stance on Tibet, told reporters on the sidelines of the CPPCC’s annual session.

Even in Tibet, he is exerting less influence, as shown by the decline in the number of people immolating themselves, Zhu said.

Dozens of Tibetans have set themselves ablaze to protest against Chinese rule over the past six years. The Dalai Lama has always denied encouraging the immolations.

Tibetan Buddhism holds that the soul of a senior lama is reincarnated in the body of a child on his death. China says the tradition must continue and it must approve the next Dalai Lama, though the present one has suggested the title could end when he dies.

Zhu accused the Dalai Lama of betraying, and being disrespectful toward, the Tibetan religion and the country by saying there might be no more reincarnations, the report said.

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RC/FL

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