In September 2011, the Dalai Lama decided to counter Beijing and speak about his own reincarnation.
He said: “Moreover [the Chinese leaders] say they are waiting for my death and will recognize a Fifteenth Dalai Lama of their choice. It is clear from their recent rules and regulations and subsequent declarations that they have a detailed strategy to deceive Tibetans, followers of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and the world community. Therefore, as I have a responsibility to protect the Dharma and sentient beings and counter such detrimental schemes, I make the following declaration. ”
He explained the general phenomenon of reincarnation which could take place either through voluntary choice of the concerned person or at least on the strength of his or her karma, merit and prayers. The Tibetan leader clearly says that the person who reincarnates has the sole legitimate authority over where and how he or she takes rebirth and how that reincarnation is to be recognized. For him, no one else can force the person concerned, or manipulate him or her.
The Tibetan leader added that the Chinese interference in the spiritual process is brazen meddling which contradicts their own political ideology and reveals their double standards.
The Dalai Lama’s conclusion was: “I shall leave clear written instructions about this. Bear in mind that, apart from the reincarnation recognized through such legitimate methods, no recognition or acceptance should be given to a candidate chosen for political ends by anyone, including those in the People’s Republic of China.”
This will probably not stop Communist China to continue to interfere in this purely religious matter. The Communist leadership today, like yesterday, is aware of the important factor religion has played and still plays on the Roof of the World: whoever controls the ‘lamas’ will be able to control the country.
This creates an unsolvable problem for the leadership of the Communist Party in Beijing, particularly when most of the ‘respected’ rinpoches have fled China and today live abroad.
Recently an article in the Asia Week published in Hong Kong, brought inklings on the Party's thoughts on the 'reincarnation' of the Dalai Lama.
The Tibetan blogger Tsering Woeser commented the interview of Prof. Jin Wei of the Central Communist Party School published by the Hong Kong weekly and linked it to an invitation to the Dalai Lama to visit Hong Kong.
The professor (who strangely resembles Woeser) seems very bothered by the possibility of having 2 Dalai Lamas (one in exile and one in China).
In the interview, she uses 'we' (meaning the leadership?).
One can understand Beijing, the legitimacy of their 'liberation' of Tibet may be postponed for several decades if the Dalai Lama takes birth in India.
Strangely, Prof. Jin admits that the 'Golden Urn' process of selection can be manipulated by Beijing.
If Beijing is serious about approaching the Dalai Lama, why can't they do it discreetly from a Chinese Embassy abroad during one the Tibetan leader's numerous trips outside India?
Why Hong Kong where all sorts of people/organizations would be too happy to 'receive' the Tibetan leader for their own glory or political interests.
It is not the first time that shadowy figures like Philip Li Koi-hop or Xiao Wunan, both based in Hong Kong try to use the Dalai Lama for their own publicity/business.
In any case, Tsering Woeser's analysis is fascinating. Worth reading...
What Do They Mean When They Say “We Must Strive to See that the Reincarnation of the Dalai Lama is Produced Only Within the Country”?
An article that merits very close reading was published in the Hong Kong Asia Weekly (vol. 27, no. 22) under the title “Exclusive Interview with Professor Jin Wei of the Social Science Teaching and Research Section of the Central Communist Party School: Reopen Talks and Resolve Tibetan Issues.”
In this article the Party School professor’s crucial sentence reads: “We must strive to see that the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama is produced only within the country.”
|Prof. Jin Wei from the Party School
This Party School professor, someone who recommends “that the Chinese Communist Party must remain highly self-confident,” is quite callous about what she’s found to be the nature of Tibetan self-immolations: “Self-immolations are continuing and expanding at a fast pace. It’s effectively become a ‘collective plague;’ it’s become a contagion; a movement.”
But the last sentence in her article seems calculated to kill two birds with one stone: “Tibetan issues are exceedingly important to China today. If it is possible to forge a new way of thinking and to break through the deadlock, it will not only advance social stability and allow us to avoid forming nationality wounds that are hard to heal, but also have a positive effect on other minority nationalities. At the same time it will aid in unification with Taiwan, and can also elevate China’s international image.”
The problem is that by some extraordinary coincidence no sooner had the Party School professor made the suggestion to “let the Dalai Lama visit Hong Kong or Macao purely in the capacity of a religious leader; later on we can consider allowing him to reside in Hong Kong,” than on that same day, June 3, the Voice of Tibet reported that “A Hong Kong organization has invited the Dalai Lama to visit Hong Kong to preside over religious activities.” It further states that “The Hong Kong Tibetan and Han-Chinese Friendship Association recently made it known that it had already invited the Dalai Lama to visit Hong Kong and to preside over a ‘World Peace—Universal Harmony’ religious gathering and had forwarded an application for the purpose to the immigration office.”
How could there be such a coincidence?! This is far too bizarre! Could it be that some sort of scam is being played? And what’s the background of this Hong Kong organization?
According to reports, the person who invited His Holiness to visit Hong Kong is a certain someone who’s the founder of the “Hong Kong Tibetan and Han-Chinese Friendship Association.” On Twitter an internet friend from Hong Kong wrote “It’s said that he’s a swindler. Some people say his background includes close ties to the Communist Party. The day before yesterday a friend already came to ask me about his background, saying he was going to hold a press conference tomorrow.”
Even though—contrary to what one might think—being a swindler and having a background of close ties to the Communist Party are very compatible, the question is: how could this sort of person have been allowed to extend an invitation to His Holiness the Dalai Lama to come to Hong Kong? How is this not extremely sinister?
And that certain someone who is its founder? According to information supplied by an internet friend on Twitter he was the convener of the 2009 “Right to Inherent Dignity Movement Association” which at that time seriously disrupted the July 1st [pro-democracy] demonstration. The Apple Daily reported that “it had fought over who had rented the Victoria Park site; and similarly along the march route, the same weird group was suspected of seriously disrupting the July 1st demonstration.” At the time the Voice of America also reported that he had wanted to go to Victoria Park to fight over control of the demonstration’s base area.
And now this person has become the founder of the “Hong Kong Tibetan-Han Chinese Friendship Association.” At the beginning of last year he travelled to Dharamsala and saw His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Afterwards he had a photo of himself with the Dalai Lama enlarged and showed it off all over the place. And most recently he declared that he had invited His Holiness to visit Hong Kong to preside over Buddhist teaching activities. He even claimed that he’d already received written approval for this from the government. But, as an internet friend said on Twitter, in previous years the Hong Kong Government had refused entry to Wang Dan; if it were now to allow the Dalai Lama to enter that would be really strange.
So in the end, what is this all about?
The heart of the heart of the whole thing lies in the wondrous nature of this Party School professor. Her first suggestion has already met with a fortuitous coincidence (whether His Holiness actually goes to Hong Kong is another matter; the coincidence has already happened). And as for her second suggestion—“We must strive to see that the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama is produced only within the country.”—does one dare say that it too will meet with a fortuitous coincidence?
How is it that one feels that there’s a chess game in play, move by move? Ultimately, how should one “strive”? Who is the “we” of whom the Central Party School professor speaks?
Is the Communist Party carefully laying out its opening gambit? Is it setting up moves for a very long-term game? Many people of various identities and statuses are popping up. White faces, red faces; sweet talk, honeyed words. They even play the pity card. And they use “restarting talks” as bait; they use a visit to Hong Kong as bait. This includes the 2,500,000 yuan that Xinhua reports as having been spent by the Communist Party to renovate His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s former residence (which is [in China’s geographical delineation of the area] in Hongya village, located in Shihuiyao Township in Ping’an County, within Qinghai Province’s Haidong Prefecture). As a goal, do they imagine that they can ultimately have His Holiness promise to reincarnate “within the country”? Well, just as the Party School professor said: “We must strive to see that the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama is produced only within the country.”
But also, as an internet friend said on Twitter, “To make concessions and pay such a high price simply to visit Hong Kong is clearly unreasonable. Connecting this to the Tibetan Government-in-Exile’s impatience to return to Tibet and its resultant promise to renounce the status of political independence and democracy, a visit to Hong Kong at this time may be a pivotal link in negotiations.” Of course, His Holiness cannot commit himself so easily, but the “we” that the Central Party School professor needed to mention certainly can “strive,” because as far as Beijing is concerned just having the Dalai Lama abroad, whether it’s this incarnation or the next one, is a “special” dilemma. And yet the simple “resolution of ‘the Dalai Lama dilemma’ would lend itself to larger uses in the sense of a small investment bringing a large return.”
The Chinese language is just too rich. “Vis-à-vis His Holiness, who is already ‘advanced in years’ and who is facing an imminent reincarnation problem,” there must be “striving,” there must be “a resolution.” What do such verbal formulations signify?
An independent Chinese intellectual sent me an e-mail. Worried and anxious, he said “There is obviously a back story to the two articles in Asia Weekly. The first speaks of the internal divisions among Tibetans and the Government-in-Exile’s inability to stabilize the situation. The article that follows has several keywords that I really don’t like: reincarnation, inviting His Holiness to visit Hong Kong, etc. And an invitation to His Holiness to visit Hong Kong is surely on His Holiness’s mind: he has many times evinced warm feelings when speaking about Xi Zhongxun and is reposing great hopes in Xi Jinping. If moved by rhetoric, His Holiness could gladly go. But think about the affair of the 10th Panchen Lama’s passing away in Shigatse. I think of the old adage, ‘Don’t walk into danger!’”
Indeed, don’t walk into danger! When there’s someone saying “We must strive to see that the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama is produced only within the country,” my hope is just for His Holiness to be in sound health; for His Holiness to be free of any malady!