Tibetans to decide on Dalai Lama role: spiritual leader

13th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama warned China Saturday it was up to his people to decide on his future role, days after a change at the head of the Tibetan government in exile.

"As early as 1959 I made it clear, officially," that it was up to the Tibetan people to decide whether or not the institution of the Dalai Lama should continue, he said, referring to the year of the uprising against Chinese rule and his flight into exile in India.

"It seems for the time being concerned people, most of them, want to keep the institution," he added, speaking at the start of a two-day Buddhist conference here to thousands of French and foreign followers.

The issue would again be dealt with by a meeting of Buddhist officials in September, he said, adding that there was "no hurry".

Lobsang Sangay, a 43-year-old Harvard scholar, took over the role of head of the Tibetan government in exile from the 76-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate on Monday.

The Dalai Lama warned communist authorities in Beijing against meddling with issues of his reincarnation.

"About my reincarnation, I have the only right to decide, and no one (else) has has the authority to decide about that," he said. Reincarnation is believed by some religions to occur when the soul or spirit come back to life in a new form after death.

"Today communist China considers religion is a poison and they consider me as a demon. So, I would be a demon reincarnation. This is nonsense," he said, adding: "So the Chinese communists should accept rebirth."

© 2011 AFP

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