President Dr Lobsang Sangay, addressing the closing ceremony of the ‘3rd Special General Meeting’ of Tibetans at the CTA headquarters, Dharamshala, 5 October 2019. Photo: TPI/Yangchen Dolma

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Dharamshala, India — The ‘3rd Special General Meeting’ of Tibetans has unanimously passed four historic resolutions, declaring "the six million Tibetan’s earnest prayers for His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to reincarnate as per the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and rejecting outrightly China’s preposterous interference in the sacred institution of Tibetan reincarnation."

A joint statement released on the final day, accurately quoted remarks His Holiness the Dalai Lama made in 1969, saying "whether or not the institution of Dalai Lama should continue should be decided by the Tibetan people."

50 years later, on October 5, 2019, 340 Tibetan representatives of the three pillars of Tibetan democracy: The Kashag; Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile and Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission, the five major schools of Tibetan Buddhism and the Tibetan diaspora spread across 24 countries, unanimously passed four resolutions, declaring "the six million Tibetan’s earnest prayers for the 14th Dalai Lama to reincarnate as per the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and rejecting outrightly China’s preposterous interference in the sacred institution of Tibetan reincarnation."

The most powerful message to China came few days after the Tibetian Parliament in-Exile passed a resolution saying "No nation, government, entity or any individual can claim to recognise the reincarnation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The final authority on decisions regarding the reincarnation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama rests indisputably and completely with His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself and the concerned authorities of the Gaden Phodrang Trust."

The three-day special general meeting of the Tibetan community leaders across the world, organised by the Kashag and Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile concluded at T-building, Central Tibetan Secretariat or CTA headquarters, Dharamshala, India, on October 5, 2019 and the Tibetan side strongly condemns China for interfering in Tibet's reincarnation affairs, saying 'China has no credibility in interfering in the reincarnation process' of Tibet In addition, they also said that 'no country has a locus standi on the issue.'

Sending a clear message of deterrence to the Chinese government, the Kashag and the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile that jointly convened the Special meeting of Tibetan representatives announced that the two-page resolution will be adopted effectively as the official policy of the Central Tibetan Administration on the reincarnation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and therefore, shall remain recorded in the historical annals of Tibet.

The first resolution re-affirmed the inseparable relationship between the lineage of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people; the utmost trust and devotion the Tibetans hold for His Holiness as the ultimate spiritual guide for this life and the nexts and expressed fervent prayers for his long and healthy life.

The second resolution said the Tibetans inside Tibet and those in exile collectively and fervently appeal for the institution of the Dalai Lama to continue for the benefit of all spiritual beings of Tibet and accordingly for His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to reincarnate as per the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

The third resolution affirmed upon the supreme authority of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama on his reincarnation and Tibetan Buddhism in general. It read, “no nation, government, entity or any individual can claim to recognise the reincarnation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The final authority on decisions regarding the reincarnation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama rests indisputably and completely with His Holiness the Dalai Lama himself and the concerned authorities of the Gaden Phodrang Trust.”

Finally, the fourth resolution categorically rejected any interference of the Chinese government in the selection process of Tibetan reincarnate lamas as unacceptable. In addition, it outrightly rejected the Order no. 5 issued by the Chinese government which states that reincarnation of tulkus and lamas must be approved by the Chinese government for legal validation.

The four resolutions were unanimously passed by the representatives of the Tibetan people at the three-day Special meeting. The Special meeting at the Tibetan headquarters concluded with an overwhelming show of unity and shared a commitment to safeguarding the sacred, karmic relationship between the lineage of the Dalai Lamas and the Tibetan people-a key agenda of the meeting.

Both the Tibetan Buddhist representatives and community leaders re-affirmed their unsurmountable devotion towards His Holiness the Dalai Lama, describing him as the “heart and soul of the Tibetan people” and the only singular leader with whom the Tibetan people share a special, historical and karmic relationship.

The meeting also unanimously asserted in His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 2011 statement that if a decision to continue the institution of the Dalai Lama is made, that the responsibility shall primarily rest with the Dalai Lama’s Gaden Phodrang Trust, who will be informed by the written instructions of the 14th Dalai Lama.

“Apart from the reincarnation recognized through such legitimate methods, 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,” read the 2011 edict on His Holiness’ reincarnation. By the admission of His Holiness himself, one thing is certain that His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama would reincarnate only in a free country and certainly not on Chinese occupied soil.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama is known throughout the world as a leading advocate for world peace and non-violence. His message is one of kindness and compassion to all sentient beings. Over the past 60 years, he has traveled around the world spreading a message of Peace and Universal Responsibility.

He also believes that the common aim of all religions, an aim that everyone must try to find, is to foster tolerance, altruism, and love. He retired from politics in 2011. But, as one among six million Tibetans, His Holiness said he will continue to serve the cause of Tibet.

In 1959, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama along with thousands of others escaped to India, where he was given political asylum. The spiritual leader has set up a government and rebuilt monasteries where masters pass on their teachings to young monks. Tibetans in exile have succeeded in gradually rebuilding their monasteries, preserving their culture, restructuring their society and keeping it alive, in spite of the extremely difficult circumstances.