Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Next They'll Be Charging Tolls

From the "What were they thinking" department of the Center for the Separation of Church and State....
China Tells Living Buddhas to Obtain Permission before They Reincarnate From August 4, 2007 by Jane Macartney in Beijing

Tibet’s living Buddhas have been banned from reincarnation without permission from China’s atheist leaders. The ban is included in new rules intended to assert Beijing’s authority over Tibet’s restive and deeply Buddhist people.

“The so-called reincarnated living Buddha without government approval is illegal and invalid,” according to the order, which comes into effect on September 1.

The 14-part regulation issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs is aimed at limiting the influence of Tibet’s exiled god-king, the Dalai Lama, and at preventing the re-incarnation of the 72-year-old monk without approval from Beijing.

It is the latest in a series of measures by the Communist authorities to tighten their grip over Tibet. Reincarnate lamas, known as tulkus, often lead religious communities and oversee the training of monks, giving them enormous influence over religious life in the Himalayan region. Anyone outside China is banned from taking part in the process of seeking and recognising a living Buddha, effectively excluding the Dalai Lama, who traditionally can play an important role in giving recognition to candidate reincarnates...

[ Full Story ]

Yes this is a power play. Yes, on the surface, it seems wholly ridiculous. We will have to wait and see if China can actually enforce this ruling, and how Tibetans react to it over time.

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