Join our Mailing List

"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

Dalai Lama may name successor before death: report

November 22, 2007

November 20, 2007

TOKYO, Japan (AFP) - Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said he 
is open to naming his successor before he dies, going against 
centuries of tradition but ensuring that China does not interfere.

"If the Tibetan people want to keep the Dalai Lama system, one of the 
possibilities I have been considering with my aides is to select the 
next Dalai Lama while I'm alive," he told Japan's Sankei Shimbun in 
an interview published Tuesday.

The options would include electing the successor "democratically" 
from among high-ranking Tibetan Buddhist monks or naming the 
successor himself, the Dalai Lama said.

"If China selected my successor after my death, the people of Tibet 
would not support him as there would be no Tibetan heart in him," he 

The Dalai Lama, a Nobel laureate with a wide global following, keeps 
a rigorous schedule at age 72, but Tibetans have increasingly voiced 
worries about what happens when he dies.

China, which sent troops into Tibet in 1950, recently issued rules 
that Tibetan living Buddhas needed permission from the officially 
atheist government to be reincarnated.

In 1995, China detained a six-year-old boy the Dalai Lama had picked 
for the second-most important figure of Panchen Lama. China picked 
its own Panchen Lama who has been paraded around to promote Beijing's 
rule in Tibet.

The current Dalai Lama, who is the 14th, was born as Tenzin Gyatso to 
a farming family. Legend holds that when he was two years old, a 
search party received signs he was the Dalai Lama's reincarnation and 
confirmed his identity after he identified prayer beads and other 
relics of a previous Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 amid a failed uprising against 
Chinese rule. Beijing has denounced his frequent travels overseas 
including his current trip to Japan, saying he should focus on 
religion rather than politics.

"I am already half-retired politically and in the position of supreme 
advisor to the exiled government. Decision making on political 
matters is already out of my hands," the Dalai Lama said in the 

He denies Beijing's charges he is a separatist, saying he is seeking 
greater autonomy for Tibet under Chinese rule.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
Developed by plank