In a landmark declaration adopted unanimously during its Annual General Meeting held on 24 September 2023, the European Buddhist Union (EBU) has issued a powerful call to the Chinese government, urging it to cease interference in Tibetan Buddhist affairs. Specifically, the EBU has emphasized the need for the Chinese government to respect the time-honored tradition of recognizing the reincarnation of high lamas, including the revered His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
The EBU asserted that the responsibility of selecting the reincarnation of Tibetan Lamas, notably His Holiness the Dalai Lama, belongs exclusively to the Tibetan people and Ganden Phodrang. This selection process must adhere to the rich tapestry of Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Additionally, the EBU has urged the international community to refrain from recognizing any Lama appointed by the Chinese authorities.
One of the key demands made by the EBU is for the Chinese government to reopen channels of dialogue with the representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Such dialogue is seen as vital in addressing and potentially resolving the long-standing Sino-Tibetan conflict.
Representative Rigzin Genkhang expressed profound gratitude for the timely and significant initiative undertaken by the EBU. The endorsement of His Holiness' perspective on this matter resonates deeply with those who value the sanctity of Tibetan Buddhist traditions.
This call to action by the EBU follows closely on the heels of the Chinese government's recent enactment of the "Administrative Measures for Religious Activity Venues," also known as "Order number 19." This legislation, which came into effect on 01 September 2023, has raised concerns about further exacerbating religious repression not only in Tibet but also in other regions of China. Critics argue that these measures are part of a broader strategy by the People's Republic of China to exert control over Tibetan Buddhism for political purposes.
The European Buddhist Union, comprising an array of Buddhist organizations and national Buddhist unions across Europe, stands as an international umbrella association committed to the preservation of Buddhist traditions and values worldwide. Its resolute stance in advocating for the autonomy and sanctity of Tibetan Buddhist practices has garnered significant attention and support.
Edited and collated by Team TRC