My article Beijing’s unopened secret gift package to Nepal appeared in DNA.
You may think that Communists are atheists. You are wrong. They have recently become great experts in religious matters, including ‘soul’ reincarnations and reestablishing Buddhist institutions.
Last year, Beijing announced some new regulations to select what they call ‘Living Buddhas’. Termed Management Measures for the Reincarnation of Living Buddhas in Tibetan Buddhism, it proclaimed that “the reincarnation of Living Buddhas shall not be interfered or dominated by any organisation or individual abroad (read the Dalai Lama) … the reincarnation of living Buddhas should fulfill the application and approval procedures.”
In other words, the Party is the only legitimate body to select the reincarnations of diseased Tibetan Lamas. Amazing! In fact, there is nothing really new in the Chinese rulers’ attitude: during the nineteenth century, the Chinese ambassadors in Lhasa knew the trick well:
‘Control the reincarnation system; you will control the country!’ The Ninth to Twelfth Dalai Lamas died mysteriously before attaining majority. Chinese-controlled puppet regents could manage the interregnum.Closer in time, a few days after criticising the Party at a public function in Shigatse in 1989 (in the presence of the then Tibet party secretary, Hu Jintao), the Panchen Lama ‘passed away’.
The Party could not accept to lose control over the courageous Lama.