BEIJING China’s Communist Party boss in Tibet has urged the Panchen Lama, the second-highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism, to reject the Himalayan region’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, state media mentioned on Tuesday.
Controversy surrounds the position of the Panchen Lama given that the boy the Dalai Lama named as the reincarnation of the leader disappeared when he was six years old.
The fate of the missing Panchen Lama, one of China’s most zealously guarded state secrets, is just a single region of contention among China and the Dalai Lama more than Tibet, and continues to worry numerous Tibetans.
Tibetan Buddhism holds that the soul of a senior lama is reincarnated in the body of a kid on his death.
The Dalai Lama and China’s officially atheist Communist Celebration have repeatedly tussled over who has final authority on the problem of reincarnation.
China’s Communist Celebration has extended maintained that the Dalai Lama’s selection, Gendun Choekyi Nyima, now 26, is not the genuine Panchen Lama, and in 1995, the government chosen Gyaltsen Norbu as the 11th Panchen Lama.
Chen Quanguo, the celebration secretary of Tibet, said he hoped Beijing’s Panchen Lama would “unswervingly walk with the party” and safeguard national unity, the official Tibet Everyday mentioned.
“Resolutely draw a clear line between the 14th Dalai Lama and firmly reject all subversive separatist activities,” Chen told the Panchen Lama in the Tibetan city of Shigatse throughout a meeting on Monday marking 20 years because the monk’s investiture.
“Tibetan Buddhism is at its ideal period of improvement in history and religious circles and believers enjoy complete religious freedom,” the paper quoted Beijing’s Panchen Lama as telling Chen.
Tibet’s exiled leadership in India stated Beijing’s bid to involve itself on the concern of reincarnation had no moral or legal standing.
“Beijing authorities or the atheist communist party of China have neither legitimacy nor credibility on this matter,” Lobsang Sangay, the political head of the government-in-exile, based in the northern hill town of Dharamsala, told Reuters.
The 80-year-old Dalai Lama fled to India right after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959. Beijing says he is a violent separatist but the monk denies espousing violence and says he only wants genuine autonomy for Tibet.
The Chinese government sees the appointment of the next Dalai Lama as crucial to consolidating state control over Tibet, where separatist movements have flared because the 1950s.
Tibetans worry Beijing will use the problem of the Nobel peace laureate’s eventual death and succession to split Tibetan Buddhism, with one new Dalai Lama named by exiles and a single by the government.
Beijing insists it have to approve the subsequent Dalai Lama, although the title’s current holder has mentioned the function could end when he dies.
(Reporting by Michael Martina Added reporting by Abhishek Madhukar in DHARAMSALA Editing by Clarence Fernandez)