Sept. 7, 2015 -- Beijing 'has undeniable endorsement right on the reincarnation system', document says
The central government has an undeniable endorsement right on the reincarnation of living Buddhas in the Tibet autonomous region, a senior official said on Sunday.
The comment was made as China issued a white paper reaffirming Tibet's ethnic autonomous policy ahead of the 50th anniversary of its foundation.
The central government respects Tibet's history and religious traditions. The reincarnation system is an important tradition to ensure the inheritance of Tibetan Buddhism, and that has been affirmed and regulated by the central government since the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
Norbu Dundub from the United Front Work Department of the Communist Party of China Tibet Autonomous Regional Committee, was speaking at a news conference.
The regulation on the reincarnation system is clearly outlined in a document issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs in 2007, he added.
"So, no matter what the Dalai Lama says or does, he cannot deny the central government's right to confirm the new reincarnation," he said.
Among its roles, the United Front Work Department is a Party organ that supervises religious affairs in China.
Norbu Dundub was responding to an interview in The New York Times in July with the Dalai Lama who said, "The Chinese Communist Party is pretending that they know more about the reincarnation system than the Dalai Lama."
Norbu Dundub accused the Dalai Lama of violating historical conventions and religious rituals by designating a Panchen Lama at will. "The designation is illegal and invalid," he said. The regulation states that a Panchen Lama must be confirmed by the central government.
Choekyi Nyima, now 26, was named by the Dalai Lama as the 11th Panchen Lama "against historical customs and religious rituals", Norbu Dundub said.
"This so-called 'soul boy' designated by the Dalai Lama is receiving education, living normally and growing healthily. He does not want to be disturbed by anyone," he said.
In a regulation introduced in September 2007, the State Administration for Religious Affairs said that all the reincarnations of Living Buddhas of Tibetan Buddhism must receive government approval.