Senior Tibetan religious leaders have adopted a resolution urging the Dalai Lama to reincarnate according to Tibetan traditions and declared that Tibetans will never accept a spiritual leader appointed by China.
The resolution that emerged at the 14th Tibetan Religious Conference also says the Dalai Lama alone has the authority to decide how his reincarnation will occur and that no government has the right to interfere in that sacred process.
The three-day conference, which brings together the heads of major Tibetan Buddhist and Bon traditions, began on Wednesday in Dharamsala, the exile home of the Dalai Lama.
The conference is organised by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), which provides democratic governance to the Tibetan diaspora. In attendance were the heads and senior masters of all the Tibetan Buddhist lineages as well as of the Bon religion.
The Dalai Lama, who is now 84, is scheduled to address the conference on Friday.
The resolutions adopted also said if China "for political ends chooses a candidate for the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan people will not recognise and respect that candidate".
"Regarding the method of recognising the future reincarnations of the Dalai Lama, the same unique Tibetan traditional method, which has been continuously used until now, will be followed. This method conforms to the basic philosophy and tents of the Buddhadharma and originated in Tibet over 800 years ago," it said.
Tibetan political leader Lobsang Sangay spoke of the "alarming meddling of China" in the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama, including through threatening and putting pressures on India against interfering in the selection of next Dalai Lama.
"China's extreme hostility towards religious freedom in Tibet is no longer admissible to us and likewise, we vehemently reject any advancement of China's interferences in the reincarnation process. If any, it should be for the Tibetans to decide and defend," said Sangay.
"Though China continues to put pressure on India, India's consistent generosity and kindness towards Tibetans have always been the same," he added.
Remarking on the recent visit of Senator Brownback, US Ambassador for Religious Freedom, he said that the US fully supports and favours the Tibetan Buddhist system of selecting the successors.
"The decision of the US to back Tibet's battle over the reincarnation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama is in no way an interference on their part rather they are defending the right to religious freedom," noted the democratically-elected leader of the Tibetans in exile.
ALSO READ | Animals could help humans monitor oceans: Study