The Chinese regime’s newly appointed governor of the Tibet Autonomous Region gave a severe and harsh response to the Dalai Lama’s recent claim of possibly changing the manner of choosing his successor, according to a report by Taiwan’s Central News Agency on March 7.
Amid worries that China would try to pick a compliant successor, the Dalai Lama said he would have no misgivings about ending his centuries-old spiritual position if Tibetans so choose, as reported by Agence France-Press (AFP) on Feb. 22.
The Dalai Lama talked about who his successor might be in an interview with National Public Radio (NPR)on Feb. 22, saying that it's up to the Tibetan people to decide whether the institution should continue. "If people feel that the institution of the Dalai Lama is no longer relevant, then this institution will cease—no problem.”
Upon his promotion two weeks ago, Padma Choling, a 17-year military veteran of the People's Liberation Army, vowed to ensure stability in the Himalayan region. During the press conference held on March 7 in Beijing, he responded to the Dalai Lama’s remarks by cursing, and said, “The Dalai Lama—just wait till he is dead, then we can talk about it.”
His words were removed from the live Web broadcast on the National People's Congress web site.
Padma Choling also criticized the Dalai Lama as the primary reason for instability in Tibet.
Qiangba Puncog, Tibet’s former governor and a delegate to the National Parliament, was also present at the press conference. He stressed that the Dalai Lama’s successor must be approved by the central government, or else the choice would be illegal and invalid.
Gyaincain Norbu, the young boy who was designated by the communist regime as the official Panchen Lama in 1995, has now turned 20. He was appointed as a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference before China’s “two sessions” 2010.
However, the boy who was selected by the Dalai Lama as the reincarnation of the Panchen Lama, Gendun Choekyi Nyima, was only 6 when the Dalai Lama named him the 11th Panchen Lama in May of 1995. He disappeared 3 days after the Dalai Lama’s announcement and became the youngest political prisoner in the world. His whereabouts have since remained unknown, although during the press conference Padma Choling claimed that the boy is now living a good life in Tibet.
Padma Choling stressed in the press conference that it is not up to the Dalai Lama to decide if there will be a reincarnated successor or not after he is dead.
However, during his interview with NPR, the Dalai Lama laughed, saying, "It looks like the Chinese are more concerned about this institution than me."