By Didi Kirsten Tatlow, 10/5/11 (copyright 2011 New York Times) Reprinted on TPR with permission.
Robbie Barnett, Director of Modern Tibet Studies at Columbia University, discusses the issue of the Dalai Lama's reincarnation in this New York Times article.
"When the Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader-in-exile, suggested at the end of September that for the first time in 600 years his successor might be an emanation and not a reincarnation, he may have wrong-footed the Chinese government that runs Tibet — for the second time this year. China quickly rejected the proposal, which the 76-year-old Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, said has 14 years to be debated by Tibetans, with a final decision coming around 2025. Yet China’s rejection creates a deep irony: The tradition-proud Dalai Lama, and Tibetan Buddhism, now appear more modern and flexible than the self-styled modernizing Chinese state, which insists on the more old-fashioned and rigid reincarnation system, experts said."
Full article at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/06/world/asia/06iht-letter06.html