After looking at the selection process of the Dalai Lama, let us look at the current one’s life and Chinese interference in his life and Tibet.
Crux of the Matter
The Current One
- On 6 July 1935, the 14th (current) Dalai Lama was born as Lhamo Dhondup.
- On 22 February 1940, he was enthroned as the Dalai Lama at the age of 4 and a half and renamed Tenzin Gyatso.
- 1950: China invaded and annexed Tibet.
- March 1959: Protests started against Chinese rule – thousands of protesters killed by Chinese troops.
- April 1959: Dalai Lama escaped to India and established Tibetan Government-in-exile in Dharamshala.
- 80,000+ Tibetans live in India in exile.
- Refuge to Dalai Lama one of the reasons for the 1962 India-China war.
- Dalai Lama has been advocated Tibetan autonomous rule within China instead of independence from it.
- 1987: Proposed ‘5-point plan’ for establishing Tibet as a zone of peace amidst protests in Lhasa against large settlements of Han Chinese in Tibet.
- 1989: Won Nobel Peace Prize.
Read about the winners of Nobel Prize 2020 here: Nobel Prize: What Is It & Who Are The 2020 Winners
Missing Panchen Lama
- 1995: Gedhun Choekyi Nyima was identified as the Panchen Lama reincarnation (2nd most senior figure) by the Dalai Lama.
- China arrested Nyima in the same year – forcibly appointed Gyaltsen Norbu as Panchen Lama afterwards.
- Nyima was 6 years old when arrested – called by Human rights groups ‘the youngest political prisoner of the world’
- Nyima has been missing since then.
Dalai Lama-China Equation
- Dalai Lama has had ‘on and off’ talks with China in 1993, 2002, etc.
- 2011: Chinese Government claimed that its approval is compulsory in appointing the next Dalai Lama.
- China continues to call him “wolf in monk’s robes” and ‘separatist’.
- Criticizes any leaders meeting him – most recently Obama in 2016.
Next Dalai Lama?
Several possibilities stated by the Dalai Lama like:
- Dismantling of the Dalai Lama institution.
- Appointment of reincarnation by him – would be the first such case.
- Reincarnation outside Tibet if he himself dies outside.
- Time magazine named the Dalai Lama one of the “Children of Mahatma Gandhi” and Gandhi’s spiritual heir to nonviolence.
- The Potala Palace is a dzong fortress in the city of Lhasa, in Tibet. It was the winter palace of the Dalai Lamas from 1649 to 1959, has been a museum since then, and has been a World Heritage Site since 1994.
- McLeod Ganj is a suburb of Dharamshala, India. It is known as “Little Lhasa” or “Dhasa” because of its large population of Tibetans. The Tibetan government-in-exile is headquartered in McLeod Ganj.
- The name “Dalai Lama” is a combination of the Mongolic word dalai meaning “ocean” or “big” and the Tibetan word bla-ma meaning “master, guru”. The Dalai Lama is also known in Tibetan as the Rgyal-ba (“Precious Conqueror”).
- Hindustan Times – Donald Trump defies Chinese warning, signs off on law on next Dalai Lama
- Taipei Times – Trump signs Taiwan Assurance Act
- The Conversation – How the Dalai Lama is chosen and why China wants to appoint its own
- BBC – Profile: The Dalai Lama
- Human Rights Watch – 25 Years After ‘Disappearing’ Tibetan Panchen Lama, China Is No Nearer to Its Goal
- The Indian Express – Dalai Lama is a wolf in monk’s robes: China
- Reuters – Obama meets Dalai Lama in spite of China protest