[LOS ANGELES (AFP) – The Dalai Lama said Monday he would have no misgivings ending his centuries-old spiritual position if Tibetans so choose amid worries that China would try to pick a pliant successor.
The Dalai Lama, who fled his Chinese-ruled homeland in 1959, turns 75 in July and has increasingly focused attention on the search for his successor, although he is believed to be in good health.
"Ultimately up to people, I made clear, whether this very institution should continue or not," the 14th Dalai Lama told National Public Radio on a visit to Los Angeles.
"If majority of Tibetan people feel the Dalai institution is no longer much relevant, then this institution should cease -- there is no problem," he said.
"It looks like the Chinese are more concerned about this institution than me," he said with a laugh.
The Dalai Lama has developed a global following for his spiritual teachings and won the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize.
But China, which sent troops into Tibet in 1950, has vilified the Dalai Lama and sought to isolate him, last week summoning the US ambassador after President Barack Obama received the Dalai Lama at the White House.]("http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100222/ts_alt_afp/ustibetchinareligionpolitics")
I know that most of us here are Catholic but please understand how unique this is. You are witnessing the extermination of one of the great schools of Buddhism. Every year, the People's Republic of China forcefully migrates hundreds of thousands of Han Chinese to Tibet to disestablish Tibetan religion and customs. The PRC regularly oppresses the practice of the Tibetan Path and has forced the Dalai Lama into exile in India. The Dalai Lama cannot teach like he used to. He must run for fear of the PRC coming to kill him. The PRC has even "Chosen" a Panchen Lama in replace for the Dalai Lama.
To put it in terms that you might understand, it would be like Italy trying to destroy the Vatican -- and the pope -- with any means necessary.