by T. G. Arya*
Oblivious to the international uproar over the growing repression in Tibet and Uighur region, and Hong Kong unrest, China invited journalists from India this month and condescendingly warned India on the Dalai Lama and Arunachal Pradesh issues. They explicitly conveyed in no less intimidating terms that China will select the 15th Dalai Lama within the country and any interference by India on the issue will not be tolerated!
The inspiration behind the move seems to be from the two dictums in the Sun Tzu’s Art of War tactics. The first, “The further you penetrate into a (enemy’s) country, the greater will be the solidarity of your troops, thus the defenders will not prevail against you.” The second, “Reduce the hostile chiefs by inflicting damage on them; make trouble for them, and keep them constantly engaged; hold specious allurements, and make them rush to any given point.”
Wang Neng Shang, a Vice Minister in TAR and Director General of people’s government information office; Zha Luo, the director of China Tibetology Research Center, the premier Chinese government Tibet policy think tank; and Xiao Jie, assistant fellow at the Institute of Commentary Studies were the three main Chinese officials who interacted and briefed the visiting journalists.
The Chinese officials pointed out two things as important historical criteria for the selection of the Dalai Lama’s reincarnation. First, the selection should be within China based on the 200-year old historical process. Second, it should have the approval of the Chinese Central government. Wang and Xiao further went on to explain that the incumbent 14th Dalai Lama is Dalai Lama because of the Chinese Central government’s recognition.
With due respect to the three learned Chinese officials, we beg to differ, because the fact is otherwise. This is a blatant deliberate attempt by the Chinese leadership to distort historical and religious fact.