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Tibet’s highest spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, turns 86 today

Today is the Dalai Lama’s 86th birthday, but due to a global pandemic, no grand celebrations will be held at his Dharmashala in Himachal Pradesh. Earlier there used to be thousands of people from every corner of the globe celebrating his birthday. This time, the event will be held at the Kashag(cabinet), the highest executive office of the Central Tibetan Administration.

Tibetans revere the Dalai Lama as the spiritual head and, until nine years ago, he served as the political head of the country. It took four years to find a successor to the previous Dalai Lama, who died in 1933. According to tradition, the Dalai Lama prefers his own successor and informs his advisers where to look for his reincarnation before his death. In accordance with the Dalai Lama’s official website, the person who reincarnates has sole authority to choose where and how to take birth.

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China views the Dalai Lama as a separatist and someone who is trying to split Tibet from China. With Chinese factories, Beijing has spent billions of dollars to destroy the traditional Tibetan monastic order. Dragon understands its grip on Tibet can only be tightened if it is able to pick the next Dalai Lama, who would be Tibetan by blood and Chinese by spirit. The US has now enacted a law stating that the Tibetans should be able to name the next Dalai Lama. The succession might not be as straightforward this time, and the world could end with two Dalai Lamas, one chosen by the Chinese and the other by the Dharmasala.

 

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