US Representative Says China Has "No Theological Basis" To Pick Next Dalai LamaNovember 18, 2020 08:40
(Image source from: Ndtv.com)
According to a top US diplomat, China has no theological basis to pick the next Dalai Lama, declaring that the Tibetan Buddhists have successfully chosen their spiritual leader for hundreds of years.
Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Samuel D Brownback told reporters on Tuesday during a conference call, recalling his visit to India in October.
In a response to a question, he said, "I travelled to Dharamshala, India to speak to the Tibetan community that were assembled there in exile and to tell them that the US is opposed to China picking the next Dalai Lama,"
"They have no right to do that. They have no theological basis to do that. The Tibetan Buddhists have successfully picked their leader for hundreds of years, if not longer, and they have the right to do that now,"
Further, Samuel D Brownback said that US supports the idea that every religious community has a right to choose their leadership.
"That certainly includes the next Dalai Lama. So we've pushed back against that. We're going to continue to push back against that. We think that's completely wrong of the Chinese Communist Party to assert that they have that right," he said.
Today in India, there are over 1,60,000 Tibetans and the Tibetan government-in-exile works from Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh.
The 14th Dalai Lama, is 85 and has been residing in India after he left Tibet in 1959 due to a Chinese repression wherein the local population was revolting.
China gets accused of having the worst religious persecution situations in the world today.
Samuel says, "It will not help them in their fight on terrorism"
Further, he states that Chinese are trying to show that they want to prevent terrorism. However, he believes that they would make more terrorists.
"The answer to terrorism isn't locking up everybody. The answer to terrorism is religious freedom, allowing people to freely practice their faith, and they won't fight you as much. If the Chinese weren't at war with faith, they would have a more open society, but they'd also have a more satisfied citizenry that seeks to practice their faith and be left alone and left in peace," he said.
By Neha Makhija