President, Vice-Presidents and Members of European Buddhist Union and their statement on September 24, 2023. Photo: File

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Brussels — The European Buddhist Union (EBU) adopted a statement on September 24, 2023, called on the Chinese government not to interfere in Tibetan Buddhist affairs and urged the international community not to recognise the Lama selected and appointed by the Chinese authority. This declaration was unanimously adopted at the Annual General Meeting.

The EBU is an international umbrella association of Buddhist organisations and national Buddhist unions in Europe, founded in 1975. Its aim is to facilitate international exchanges, support social action and ideas motivated by Buddhist values, and amplify the voice of Buddhism in Europe and throughout the world.

According the office of Tibet in Brussels,The Decalaration comes after the recent implementation of the "Administrative Measures for Religious Activity Venues," referred to as "Order number 19," by the Chinese government on September 1, 2023. These measures are expected to exacerbate the existing religious suppression in Tibet and other regions of China. This action is part of a broader set of measures introduced and enforced by the PRC to advance their political objectives, particularly targeting Tibetan Buddhism.

The representative of the Tibet Office in Brussels, Rigzin Genkhang, welcomed this timely initiative and thanked the EBU for supporting His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama's views on the matter.

The EBU affirms that the process of identifying the reincarnation of Tibetan Lamas, including the future 15th Dalai Lama, must be determined by the Tibetan people and the Office of the Dalai Lama (Ganden Phodrang), in accordance with the traditions of Tibetan Buddhism. Furthermore, the EBU calls on the international community to refrain from recognising any Lama appointed by the Chinese authorities.

In addition to it, it also urged "the Chinese government to implement Articles 10 and 11 of the Law on Autonomy of Ethnic Areas of the People’s Republic of China, which guarantees the freedom of language and religion of ethnic minorities."

They urged the Chinese government to resume dialogue with the representatives of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, in order to find a "peaceful solution that serves the common interests of both the Tibetan and Chinese peoples".