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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

US panel slams China on Dalai Lama issue

September 1, 2007

Washington, Sept. 1, 2007: (Associated Press) - A US government advisory panel on religious freedom denounced new regulations issued by China that appear to be aimed at undermining the Dalai Lama, exiled spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists.

The regulations go into effect today. They lay down rules to implement Article 27 of China’s National Regulations on Religious Affairs, issued in March 2005.

Along with the Buddhist section, the rules also reassert China’s right to name Roman Catholic bishops. The Vatican says no agency outside the church can do that.

In a statement, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom yesterday said that the Buddhist section was “clearly designed to undermine the influence of the Dalai Lama” by requiring government approval of “living Buddhas” in violation of international legal guarantees of religious freedom.

According to the commission, the regulations order reincarnate Tibetan lamas, paramount of whom is the Dalai Lama, “respect and protect the principles of unification of the state.” The edict denies the right of any foreign organisation or individual to interfere with the state’s process of enthroning living Buddhas.

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