Shadow Tibet: The Real Threat to the Dalai Lama

Freitag, 05.02.2016, 21:21 Uhr | Kategorie(n): News Allgemein, Widerstand in Tibet

That Tibetans are devoted to the Dalai Lama is pretty much a given. Most of them express this devotion enthusiastically (but quite innocently) by celebrating his birthday, his Nobel Peace Prize day and also by holding elaborate “Long Life” (tenshug) ritual ceremonies in his honor. On the “yin” side of things those seeking official advancement and political patronage demonstrate loyalty through conspicuous and scurrilous attacks against those who might disagree with His Holiness on the question of Tibetan independence.

What is puzzling though, is that beyond rituals, ceremonies and vilification of fellow Tibetans, none of these people seem capable of any initiative when it comes to the actual well-being and security of the Dalai Lama. Right now, at this moment, the very institution of the Dalai Lama has come under active existential threat, and Tibetans don’t even seem to have noticed it.

On Monday 18th January, China announced the launch of its Living-Buddha Authentication Site and Database. The Wall Street Journal came out with this headline “China Launches Living-Buddha Authentication Site, Dalai Lama Not Included”. The South China Morning Post was no less flippant: “China Compiles Database of ‘Living Buddhas’ … and Guess Who’s Not on the List?”

But as snarky as they were, those headlines did highlight the underlying threat that China’s latest action posed to the Dalai Lama. As Amnesty International’s Nicholas Bequelin put it clearly “This living Buddha database and the whole policy toward reincarnation is clearly a pre-emptive move by the government to control what happens after this Dalai Lama.”

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