- Influential group of US lawmakers pressures Biden to talk to the Dalai Lama
- China and America are face to face over the selection of Dalai Lama’s successor
- China is set to flare up on the demand of US lawmakers, may take strong steps
An influential two-party group of US lawmakers has urged the Biden administration to speak with Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. He has urged the US to give top priority to the issue of Tibet. Lawmakers have called for a policy that recognizes Tibet’s distinct political, ethnic, cultural and religious identity.
China wants to make Panchem Lama a pawn
Even after 70 years of occupation of Tibet, China’s hold has not been as strong as the Chinese Communist Party wants. That is why the Jinping administration is now preparing to play the card of religion in Tibet. China is trying to get the Tibetan people on its side in the selection of the next Dalai Lama. Therefore, China is now preparing to take the help of Panchen Lama to make its inroads among the people here.
Who is Panchen Lama
The Panchen Lama is considered the second most important person in Tibetan Buddhism after the Dalai Lama. His post is also based on the belief of reincarnation like the Dalai Lama. It is said that 26 years ago today the Chinese authorities kidnapped the Panchen Lama. The Panchen Lama was only six years old at the time of his abduction. He is now 32 years old. China is trying to make him the biggest leader of Buddhism in place of the Dalai Lama.
Why is it important to choose the successor of the Dalai Lama?
Tenzin Gyatso, better known as the 14th Dalai Lama, turned 86 in July this year. Amidst his aging and deteriorating health, there is also a ruckus over the election of the next Dalai Lama. In Tibetan Buddhism, the Dalai Lama is considered a living Buddha who is reborn after his death. Traditionally, when a child is chosen to be the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, he or she studies the religion properly to fulfill their role. The current Dalai Lama was identified at the age of two.
China itself wants to choose the next Dalai Lam
China has indicated that China will choose the successor of the Dalai Lama. Seeing these tricks of China, the Dalai Lama has already told that he can choose his own successor, breaking the tradition. The US has already demanded to place the issue with international institutions. America and India are already eyeing this whole matter. Last year, US envoy Sam Brownback met the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala. After meeting the 84-year-old Dalai Lama, Brownback said the two had a lengthy discussion on the successor.
US and China face to face on the selection of the new Dalai Lama
There is a huge difference of opinion between the US and China over the selection of the new Dalai Lama. China wants to choose the Dalai Lama of its own free will, so that its hold on Tibet is strengthened. At the same time, America believes that choosing a new Dalai work is the right of the current Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhist leaders and the Tibetan people. The Tibetan Policy and Support Act (TPSA) 2020, passed by the US Parliament, has made it its official policy.
US lawmakers demand Biden’s intervention
US lawmakers said in a letter to Azra Zia, Deputy Secretary of State for Civil Defense, Democracy and Human Rights, that Tibet means a lot to America. Indian-origin Zia is likely to be appointed as the special coordinator for Tibetan issues. Lawmakers have advocated a US policy towards Tibet that protects the rights, autonomy and dignity of the Tibetan people. The letter also called for a policy that further recognizes Tibet’s distinct political, ethnic, cultural and religious identity.
Demanded to raise the issue according to US law
The letter said that as you (Zia) prepare to assume the duties of Special Coordinator, we would like to express views on how the Biden administration and Congress (Parliament) have passed the Tibetan Policy Law of 2002 and Tibet of 2020 but may cooperate in accordance with the US Policy and Support Act (TPSA).
Demand to talk to Dalai Lama
Lawmakers led by Senator Marco Rubio said President Joe Biden can demonstrate the importance of the Dalai Lama’s moral message and example. The Dalai Lama may be invited to meet in the Oval Office to discuss common interests and strategies. The letter said that if the Dalai Lama is unable to travel, the President should seek an opportunity to meet him in India or send a high-level representative, such as the Vice President or a cabinet official, to do so in his place.
China destroying the culture of Tibet
China is accused of suppressing cultural and religious freedom in Tibet. China has denied the allegations. Chinese President Xi Jinping has adopted a firm policy of increasing security controls on Tibet. China has been taking tough measures against Buddhist monks and followers of the Dalai Lama and considers the 86-year-old Dalai Lama a separatist.
(with input from agency)