Banyan at The Economist writes a great piece about the latest between the new Tibetan Prime Minister, Lobsang Sangay, and the Chinese government.
“China seems to hope that with the passing of this Dalai Lama, Tibetans, deprived of an internationally revered figurehead, will give up the struggle. So it may have been alarmed by the Dalai Lama’s remark at a press conference in New Jersey, America, this month, that Tibetans are close to “finalising” the process for finding his successor—his reincarnation as the 15th Dalai Lama. He said that all the schools of Tibetan Buddhism are involved in this. He seems in good health, but is now 75.
This unity among the various schools would be unprecedented—and important, since it seems quite likely that the next incarnation of the Dalai Lama will be contested, with one candidate backed by China and one, probably in exile, revered by most Tibetans.
The Dalai Lama appears to retain the loyalty of most Tibetans inside China, too. The focus of Tibetan resistance since March has been around the Kirti monastery in an area of Sichuan province that Tibetans regard as Amdo, part of historic Tibet. Protests that started with the self-immolation of a young monk have seen hundreds of monks detained, two elderly laypeople trying to protect them killed, a continuing heavy security presence in the area, and the burning of books not approved by the authorities.”
I’ve heard rumors about this before: that a large number of high lamas are working on a plan to combat China’s attempted hijacking of the next Dalai Lama. It’ll be interesting to see what they’ve come up with.