Ahead of Modi-Xi meet, Tibetan govt-in-exile passes resolution on reincarnation of the Dalai Lama

Days ahead of the informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Tibetan government-in-exile held a three-day special general meeting of Tibetans in Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. It was attended by 345 representatives or Tibetan religious leaders from 24 countries.

On Saturday, four resolutions were passed unanimously, the most important being on the question of reincarnation of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama.

Speaking exclusively to India Today TV after the session, Lobsang Sangay, the Sikyong or the president of the Tibetan-government-in-exile, said that China has no locus standi on the issue of “reincarnation” and therefore the Communist Party should not interfere in the matters of religion.

“On reincarnation, the resolution we had was that document number five issued by the Chinese government in 2007 on reincarnation is unacceptable and China has no credibility in interfering in the reincarnation process because document number five said that the Communist Party will decide the recognition of reincarnation at district level, state level and the national level according to the hierarchy and their categories. The Communist Party should not interfere in the religious matter… As far as the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama is concerned, only he and him alone will decide on reincarnation and no one else”, he said.

The discussions revolved around two themes – the 550 vision of Central Tibetan Administration and the relationship between the lineage of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people.

Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament, Pema Jungney unanimously passed a resolution to adopt the suggestions in the group discussion, along with the Deputy Speaker.

The first resolution was on long and healthy life of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama by the Tibetan people. The second resolution states that the reincarnation process will continue until the Tibetans exist in this world.

The third resolution is that the authority of the Dalai Lama will remain with him and Gaden Phodrang (the office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The fourth resolution is that the members unanimously rejected the Chinese government 2007 resolution order number 5.

China has been insisting that the next Dalai Lama reincarnation would be in Tibet. But, Tibetans abroad insist that the reincarnate could be from anywhere since they fear that Beijing would put up a puppet leader.

President Sangay added, “His Holiness has made it very clear that the reincarnate would be born in a free country where the Dalai Lama has religious freedom. We feel His Holiness will not be born in China where Buddhism is discouraged and monasteries are destroyed.”

To a question on the timing of the meet since it comes just days ahead of President Xi Jinping’s visit to India, the leader of the Tibetan government-in-exile insisted that it was a mere “coincidence”.

“It is pure coincidence that President Xi Jinping’s visit is happening right after the special general body meeting of Tibet. We decided to have this meeting in February. Our message is very clear that the Chinese government should not interfere in religious matters, it should be left to the religious leaders, including the Dalai Lama”, said President Sangay.

He said, “We would like to see a resolution of the issue of Tibet. Based on the middle-way approach what we seek is a genuine autonomy within the framework of the Chinese Constitution. This is a win-win solution for both, the Chinese government and for the people. This is a moderate stand and the Chinese government should consider it for a peaceful resolution of the Tibet question.”