Dalai Lama: my successor may be a girl.
rahul | November 23, 2008 at 06:08 pmby
439 views | 21 Recommendations | 3 comments
DHARAMSALA: The Dalai Lama opened his much anticipated meeting with the international media here on Sunday with a terse "I have nothing to say", but went on to indicate that he was ready to pass on his political role to Tibetans in exile and choose his successor, probably a young girl, in his lifetime. In his 90-minute interaction with the media, the Nobel laureate made many remarks that are sure to irk China and cause some anxiety in New Delhi. He said Tibet's cause was linked up with the question of democracy in China and that India's approach to the Tibetan issue was "too cautious". Though on the question about the relevance of his "middle path" and the "future of talks with China", the Dalai Lama just said "wait" or "no comments", the Tibetan leader spoke eloquently on the Tibetan crisis, widening its scope. The 73-year-old monk not only warned India about the Chinese military presence in Tibet, he also made common cause with China's pro-democracy activists and talked about the rights of China's other minorities, Uighurs and Mongolians, and slammed China for "serving a death sentence on the Tibetan nation". But the most dramatic and symbolic moment came when the monk invited Chin Jin, a pro-democracy Chinese activist who fled China before the Tiananmen demonstrations, and hugged him in front of cameras. But it's just not the images of Chin with Dalai that will irk Beijing, the Dalai Lama's constant appeal to the people of China and support for democratic movements there will definitely anger China's communist bosses. "As my faith in the Chinese officials is getting thinner and thinner, my faith in the Chinese people remains strong," the Dalai Lama said, squarely blaming China for the failure of the bilateral talks. On the crucial issue of his retirement plans, the Dalai Lama scotched speculation that he was about to retire, saying he would not "quit till Tibetans returned home". But, on the issue of his successor, his answer clearly hinted that he was ready to pass on the political role to the leader of the government in exile. "I am in the semi-retired state since 2001, and the future of the Dalai Lama institution will be decided by the people. If they don't want it, it should cease to exist," said the Tibetan leader, throwing light on the growing democratic aspirations taking roots among the Tibetan exiles. Responding to a series of questions on his successor, the 14th Dalai Lama again sent a message to the Chinese by saying that he may select his successor before he passes away. "I may even choose a young girl to be the next Dalai Lama in my life time," the monk said, indicating that he wants to block all possibilities of the Chinese picking up the 15th Dalai Lama. Talking about China, he linked the freedom of the minorities there with the advent of democracy in the country. "The Tibetan and other issues can be solved only with democracy in China," he opined, agreeing with a remark by a Chinese activist that "China can have one country and many political systems". Earlier, responding to a question on India's role in the Tibetan issue, the Dalai Lama said New Delhi was "too cautious" in its approach, a remark he made during the March uprising in Tibet as well. Though he thanked the Indian government for its support to Tibetans in exile, the monk made an indirect appeal to New Delhi to take initiative on the issue, saying that China and India cannot forge a friendship based on trust until "they solve the Tibetan problem because of which China maintains a huge army on the plateau". Summing up his thoughts on the issue, the leader said, "Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai is not possible without the resolution of the Tibetan issue." The leader's comments on democracy in China and within the exile community are interesting in the wake of the conclave that ended on Saturday. The joint statement at the end of the meeting of 600 Tibetan leaders from 15 countries shows that the exiles are seriously ready to consider independence as an option.
Albert MillironThese members have powered this story: