Tuesday January 21, 2020

China accuses Dalai Lama of making fool of Buddhism

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Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama waves to devotees outside the United Nations where the Human Rights Council is holding its 31st Session in Geneva, Switzerland, March 11, 2016. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama waves to devotees outside the United Nations where the Human Rights Council is holding its 31st Session in Geneva, Switzerland, March 11, 2016. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama waves to devotees outside the United Nations where the Human Rights Council is holding its 31st Session in Geneva, Switzerland, March 11, 2016. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Beijing (Reuters): Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama is “making a fool” of Tibetan Buddhism with suggestions he may not reincarnate, or reincarnate as something inappropriate, and the faithful are not buying it, a Chinese official wrote on Monday.

China says the Dalai Lama, who fled into exile in India after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, is a violent separatist. He denies espousing violence and says he only wants genuine autonomy for Tibet.

The animosity between the two sides and their rivalry for control over Tibetan Buddhism is at the heart of the debate about reincarnation.

Tibetan Buddhism holds that the soul of a senior lama is reincarnated in the body of a child on his death.

China says the tradition must continue and its officially atheist Communist leaders have the right to approve the Dalai Lama’s successor, as a right inherited from China’s emperors.

The Nobel Peace Prize-winning monk has suggested his title could end when he dies. China accuses him of betraying and being disrespectful toward, the Tibetan religion by saying there might be no more reincarnations.

Writing in the state-run Global Times, Zhu Weiqun, chairman of the ethnic and religious affairs committee of the top advisory body to China’s parliament, said the Dalai Lama had to respect the religious and historic traditions of reincarnation.

“The Dalai Lama continues to proclaim his reincarnation is a ‘purely religious matter’ and something only he can decide, but he has no way to compel admiration from the faithful,” wrote Zhu, known for his hardline stance on Tibet.

“He’s been proclaiming he’ll reincarnate as a foreigner, as a bee, as a ‘mischievous blond girl’, or even proposing a living reincarnation or an end to reincarnation,” he added.

“All of this, quite apart from making a fool of Tibetan Buddhism, is completely useless when it comes to extricating him from the difficulty of reincarnation,” wrote Zhu, who was involved in the past in Beijing’s failed efforts to talk to the Dalai Lama’s representatives.

Tibetan exiles worried China will appoint its own successor to the 80-year-old leader can point to a precedent.

In 1995, after the Dalai Lama named a boy in Tibet as the reincarnation of the previous Panchen Lama, the second highest figure in Tibetan Buddhism, China put the child under house arrest and installed another.

Zhu also said China had been successful in getting fewer and fewer foreign leaders to meet the Dalai Lama, because of the anger it draws from the world’s second-largest economy.

“Anyone getting ready to offend China must first weigh up the consequences,” he wrote.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel)

Next Story

New Virus Can Spread Through Human Contact: China

China: Possible That New Virus Could Spread Between Humans

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Security guards stand in front of the closed Huanan wholesale seafood market, where health authorities say a man who died from a respiratory illness had purchased goods from, in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province, China. VOA

The possibility that a new virus in central China could spread between humans cannot be ruled out, though the risk of transmission at the moment appears to be low, Chinese officials said Wednesday.

Forty-one people in the city of Wuhan have received a preliminary diagnosis of a novel coronavirus, a family of viruses that can cause both the common cold and more serious diseases. A 61-year-old man with severe underlying conditions died from the coronavirus on Saturday.

While preliminary investigations indicate that most of the patients had worked at or visited a particular seafood wholesale market, one woman may have contracted the virus from her husband, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said in a public notice.

CHINA-HEALTH-VIRUS
Commuters wear protection masks inside a subway train in Hong Kong, China. VOA

The commission said the husband, who fell ill first, worked at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market. Meanwhile, the wife said she hasn’t had any exposure to the market.

It’s possible that the husband brought home food from the market that then infected his wife, Hong Kong health official Chuang Shuk-kwan said at a news briefing. But because the wife did not exhibit symptoms until days after her husband, it’s also possible that he infected her.

Chuang and other Hong Kong health officials spoke to reporters Wednesday following a trip to Wuhan, where mainland Chinese authorities briefed them on the outbreak.

The threat of human-to-human transmission remains low, Chuang said, as hundreds of people, including medical professionals, have been in close contact with infected individuals and have not been infected themselves.

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She echoed Wuhan authorities’ assertion that there remains no definitive evidence of human-to-human transmission.

The outbreak in Wuhan has raised the specter of SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome. SARS is a type of coronavirus that first struck southern China in late 2002. It then spread to more than two dozen countries, killing nearly 800 people. (VOA)