United States: the House of Representatives votes to protect the Dalai Lama

- through Fabrice Groult

Published on

The House of Representatives voted on Tuesday in favor of sanctions against Chinese officials if they interfered in the choice of the next Dalai Lama, the Tibetan leader currently aged 85 and supposed to be reincarnated. This law provides for the possibility of freezing the American assets of any Chinese official seeking to identify and install a Dalai Lama approved by Beijing after the death of the current religious leader. These officials would also be barred from entering US territory.

This law must still be approved in the Senate, where Marc Rubio, the leader of the Republicans, who have the majority there, has promised to support it. It will then have to be submitted for the signature of President Donald Trump. It also plans to ban China from opening a new consulate until the United States receives permission to open a diplomatic mission in Lhasa, Tibet.

Tibetan Buddhists traditionally choose the Dalai Lama through a ritual quest, which can take years, with a traveling committee looking for signs that a young child may be the reincarnation of the last spiritual leader.

The charismatic XNUMXth Dalai Lama has slowed down his once brisk pace of travel and has been hospitalized last April for a lung infection, but he wants to be reassuring about his state of health.

In exile in India since fleeing Tibet during a failed insurrection in 1959, he could nevertheless decide on a non-traditional process that would prevent China from having a say: he could choose himself, during his lifetime, his successor, possibly a daughter, or decreeing that he is the last Dalai Lama.

Tibetan activists and Beijing know that the death of Tenzin Gyatso, the most famous Buddhist monk on the planet, could put a stop to the quest for autonomy in the Himalayan region. The Chinese authorities could then take on the task of identifying his successor, in the hope of appointing someone more inclined to accept Beijing's stranglehold, as they had done in 1995. They then chose a young boy aged six years as the new Panchen Lama, another important leader of the Tibetan Buddhists, whom human rights organizations then described as the youngest political prisoner on the planet.


Source: AFP

photo of author

Fabrice Groult

Fabrice Groult is an adventurer, photographer and Buddhist who has traveled the world since a young age. After studying Buddhism in India, he embarked on an eighteen-month journey through Asia that took him to the Himalayas, where he discovered his passion for photography. Since then, he has traveled the world capturing images of Buddhist beauty and wisdom. He was a guide for ten years, and is now a journalist with Buddhist News.

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