Monday, August 07, 2006

HHDL Wants Successor from Community in Exile

By Jayanth Jacob
Reported in the Indian Express

Dharamsala, August 6, 2006 -- The Dalai Lama is seriously thinking about his successor.

The spiritual and temporal leader of Tibetan Buddhists says the candidate should ideally be from the Tibetan community in exile in India, though he is quick to add that the name should be acceptable to all Tibetans.

The Dalai Lama -- who describes himself a ‘‘semi-retired person’’ -- has his reasons. He believes a successor from the community in exile will be in a better position to ‘‘fulfill the objective’’ of getting the homeland back for the Tibetans.

‘‘As the 14th Dalai Lama, I took the Tibetans out of the country to India and began the movement of getting the homeland back. My successor should fulfill this objective,’’ the Dalai Lama said.

On the future of the institution of the Dalai Lama, he says instead of searching for an incarnation, a system similar to the election of the Pope by Roman Catholics could be an option.

‘‘The senior Lamas can come together and select one among them as the next Dalai. However, the Tibetans may not agree with that,’’ the 71-year-old Dalai Lama said.

The spiritual head of Tibetans the world over said he had ‘‘no’’ control over his reincarnation.

‘‘In my dreams I feel I am close to the fifth Dalai Lama. And also to the Indian Buddhist masters such as Nagarjuna.’’

Meanwhile, the Dalai Lama declared he wasn’t disturbed by the latest Chinese tirade against him and said he has stuck to the idea of a middle-path: autonomy for Tibet under the constitutional framework of China.

An article published by China’s Tibet Information Centre recently had come down heavily on his attempts to reject the political system in Tibet.

Asserting that the solution is through a dialogue with China, he said he would resign the moment the Tibetan freedom movement took a violent turn. ‘‘Time is running out for us. Our demand is autonomy for Tibet, for preserving and following our religion, culture and environment,’’ said the Nobel Peace laureate who fled Lhasa for India in 1959.

Since then, every year around 3,000 Tibetan refugees have been arriving here.

He was critical of Chinese methods in Tibet. He felt the Chinese had ‘‘effective propaganda machines’’ and they practised Communist ‘‘methodology’’ such as ‘‘oppression’’, and not the ideology.

On whether he has used his friendship with the Indian Left leaders to influence China, the Dalai Lama said: ‘‘No. I have friends in the Left parties. But we haven’t sought their help in taking up the Tibetan issue with the Chinese government.’’