China cannot decide my successor: Dalai Lama

Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama has slammed China for raking up his successor issue and has said his successor will be decided by the people of Tibet.

Talking about his successor, Chinese authorities said the same has to be decided within China. If India tries to interfere, it will impact bilateral ties.

In 1959, following a crackdown on an uprising by the local population in Tibet, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, fled to India.

He was granted political asylum here and the Tibetan government-in-exile is based in Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh since then.

The Dalai Lama is 84 years old now and the issue of his successor has gained prominence in the last couple of years.

Senior Chinese officials and experts said the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama must be approved by the Chinese government and the selection should take place within the country based on an over 200-year old historical process.

“The reincarnation of the Dalai Lama is a historical, religious and political issue. There are established historical institutions and formalities for the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama,” Wang Neng Sheng, an official in the rank of vice minister in Tibet, told a small group of Indian journalists in Lhasa.

“The Dalai Lama’s reincarnation is not decided by his personal wish or by some group of people living in other countries,” he added.

Wang, the director general at the government of Tibet Autonomous Region, said the current Dalai Lama was recognized by Beijing and his successor must be found through the “draw of lots in golden urn process” within China.