(Financial Times) The ageing Dalai Lama’s upcoming trip to a Himalayan settlement under Indian control has angered China just as its Communist rulers seek to exert control over the mystical process of reincarnating a successor to the Tibetan Buddhist leader.
“The Indian government allowing the Dalai Lama to visit Tawang is not friendly to China,” Lian Xiangmin, director of the Institute of Contemporary Tibetan Studies at the China Tibetology Research Centre, told journalists in Beijing on Thursday. “Only bad can come of the Dalai Lama going to Tawang, nothing good.”
In Tibet’s unique strain of Buddhism the succession of senior lamas, who also wield temporal power, is determined by reincarnation. The 81-year-old Dalai Lama, who has gained global celebrity during a life in exile, is the 14th of his lineage. He has said he will not be reincarnated in territory controlled by China, while the officially atheist Communist government in Beijing has declared that he will.