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28september2011DalailamaDharamshala: - At a press meeting on September 24 to mark the end of the eleventh conference of the heads and representatives of the four major traditions and sub-traditions of Tibetan Buddhism and the ancient Bon religion of Tibet, former Kalon Tripa (political leader) Prof. Samdhong Rinpoche released two statements on the meeting's findings.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama had issued a memorandum for the conference to debate, which included the suggestion that, when he reaches the age of around 90, he should consult the high lamas of the Tibetan Buddhist traditions, the Tibetan public and other interested parties to re-evaluate whether the institution of the Dalai Lama should continue or not.

"If it is decided that the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama should continue," the memorandum read, "and there is a need for the 15th Dalai Lama to be recognised, responsibility for doing so will primarily rest on the...Dalai Lama's Gaden Phodrang Trust.

"Keep in mind that...no recognition or acceptance should be given to a candidate chosen for political ends by anyone, including those in the People's Republic of China."

The conference accepted and supported the contents of the memorandum. However, it also requested that His Holiness never abandon his followers, no matter in how many incarnations he manifests.

The press statements also included the following conclusions:

- - The use of modern technology, such as mobile phones and laptop computers, should not be permitted in monasteries and nunneries, as these can hamper the educational process during debating and classroom sessions.
- - More emphasis must be placed on modern education in monasteries and nunneries, including foreign languages, as well as tradional studies .
- - The four Buddhist sects represented at the meeting, together with the institutions of the Bon religion, should instate formal titles of qualification for nuns, to bring parity with monks who have successfully completed their studies.
- - Promising science students in monasteries and nunneries should be given more opportunity to advance their studies whilst at school and in higher education.
- - The Kagyu sect, which includes four main schools and eight minor schools, should appoint an official leader, so that it can participate properly in sessions of the conference. However, this issue needs to be decided by the Tibetan Pariament-in-exile.
- - The Chinese government was wrong to issue a fifth document on the recognition of the reincarnation of lamas, and Tibetans both inside Tibet and in exile should beware of such false information.

Given that not all of the leaders of the four sects attended the conference, it seems likely that another meeting will will be called soon, to further debate the issues raised.

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