Washington , Dec 28 : US President Donald Trump has signed the Tibetan Policy and Support Act (TPSA) of 2020 into law, thus, stalling China from installing their own Dalai Lama.
On Sunday (local time), Trump signed into law, "H.R. 133, an Act making consolidated appropriations for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2021, providing coronavirus emergency response and relief, and for other purposes." With the TPSA becoming a law, Lobsang Sangay, President of the Central Tibetan Administration, took to Twitter and said, "History made again! President Trump signs the Omnibus bill, which means the Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2020 is now LAW!"
The US Congress had on December 21 passed the TPSA of 2020, which has been included in a government spending bill, could become another source of friction in the already strained ties between US and China, Kyodo News reported.
In February this year, the House of Representatives had unanimously passed the Bill to strengthen policy in support of Tibet, a move that was reciprocated as "encouraging and empowering" by the representatives of the Himalayan Buddhist region that has been under the control of China for several decades.
The spiritual leader has exiled himself in India ever since the rebellion against the Chinese rule in 1959. The Dalai Lama is known for his messages of unity and compassion.
The Dalai Lama institution has existed for more than 600 years, during which there have been changes. On the religious level, the US does not have and neither do Chinese who are not Tibetan Buddhists, the right to interfere with the decisions regarding the succession of the Dalai Lama, which absolutely rests with the Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhist leaders and the people of Tibet.
The 14th Dalai Lama has dealt with all Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leaders, from Mao Zedong to Xi Jinping, and is in a unique position to not only have a deep understanding of the complexities of Chinese leadership but also to stay ahead of them in the geopolitical game between Beijing and Dharamshala.
The present Lama has further stepped up his game over the past few years.
As China prepares in its own thorough manner to identify the 15th Dalai Lama -- the reincarnation of the current, 14th Dalai Lama -- the simple monk has let loose a series of statements meant to confuse, and Beijing seems to be reeling from the impact.
China has been planning to use the archaic Golden Urn process (draw of lots) to identify the next Dalai Lama as if choosing the head of the religion with the largest following in China is a matter of a lottery.
But the Dalai Lama has been pointing towards a denunciation of this process for a long time. The Buddhist spiritual leader has repeatedly pointed out that the Golden Urn process would not apply to his reincarnation, and that the traditional method of leaving a letter containing signs would be followed.
However, putting the Chinese leadership back into confusion, the Dalai Lama has, in interactions with media and common devotees, said the institution might end with him (which atheist China opposes), or there might be a female Dalai Lama, and even that the system of reincarnation is a feudal one.
Beijing, as per information coming from the Buddhist Association of China (BAC), the officially sanctioned body dealing with the religion, has asked it to dive into the archives of Tibetan Buddhism, in all parts of China, to gather documents relating to the reincarnation process.
The Dalai Lama, for now, is in good health. During the Long Life offering ceremony at Gaden Jangtse Monastery in India at the end of last year, the leader had declared that he will be living until the age of 113 -- by which time another couple of generations of the Chinese Communist leadership will have come and gone.
Apart from scientific grounds, maybe the Lama's declaration of his living for another 22 years is a subtle way to express his confidence that he will outlive the Chinese communist regime.