Dalai Lama says China will never have power to pick his successor

Tibetan spiritual leader, 84, to decide whether or not to reincarnate when he is 90

14th Dalai Lama

14th Dalai Lama (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The 14th and current Dalai Lama, who celebrated his 84th birthday on July 6, announced on Monday (July 15) that he would decide whether or not to reincarnate once he turns 90 years old, which will be the summer of 2025.

The Tibetan leader’s remarks come in response to a statement from the government of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), which is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), asserting that it had the right to determine the Dalai Lama’s successor once he passed away.

As the aging spiritual leader has recently suffered from health problems, the issue of determining a successor to the Dalai Lama, whose religious name is Tenzin Gyatso, is becoming a worrisome issue for people both within and outside China.

Rejecting the statement made by TAR authorities over the weekend, the Dalai Lama has declared that it is his decision alone whether or not to reincarnate on Earth and if that will occur in China or elsewhere. The power to determine a successor for the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people “will never fall into China’s hands,” the Liberty Times quoted him as saying.

In a recent interview, the Dalai Lama discussed his potential reincarnation and indicated that, because he was forced to leave Tibet by the Communist authorities, his potential successor and reincarnated spirit is likely to be born in Dharmasala, India, where he currently resides.