In an interview with a German newspaper last year, the 14th Dalai Lama said that he could very well be the last incarnation of the Tibetan spiritual leader, a position he has since reiterated. Having previously called on the Dalai Lama to respect the centuries-old practice of reincarnation, the Beijing-appointed governor of the Tibet Autonomous Region is now criticizing the Dalai Lama’s intent to discontinue the tradition as an act that “profanes” Buddhism. At Reuters, Ben Blanchard reports:
Speaking on the sidelines of the annual meeting of parliament, Tibet governor Padma Choling accused the Dalai Lama of flip-flopping with his various pronouncements on the issue, and of hypocrisy seeing as he himself was reincarnated.
[…] “I think that, in fact, he is profaning religion and Tibetan Buddhism,” he said, adding that the Dalai Lama was trying to usurp Beijing’s right to decide.
“If he says no reincarnation then no reincarnation? Impossible. Nobody in Tibetan Buddhism would agree to that,” he added. “We must respect history, respect and not profane Tibetan Buddhism.”
Exiles worry that China might just simply appoint their own successor. In 1995, after the Dalai Lama named a boy in Tibet as the reincarnation of the previous Panchen Lama, the second highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism, China put that boy under house arrest and installed another in his place. [Source]
The Times of India has more on Governor Choling’s position on the issue:
“It’s not up to the Dalai Lama,” Beijing-appointed Choling said, adding that the reincarnation should also be approved by the Chinese government.
[…] Choling, however, said that door for dialogue with the Dalai Lama is “always open.”
But at the same time as to how the dialogue would be held and what to discuss totally depend on the Dalai Lama’s attitude, he said.
[…] The move to end the Dalai Lama appointment is expected to upset the reincarnation system that has been honoured for hundreds of years in Tibet and destabilise the Buddhist region, the report said. [Source]