LT GENERAL PRAKASH MENON The Print 1 June, 2021
The Dalai Lama’s succession may be stirring the pot of Buddhism at the global geopolitical table. China’s sensitivity to Tibetan issues has long been viewed by some nations as having a high potential for leverage in the conduct of relations with it. But Donald Trump shook up the Tibetan pot in December 2020 when he signed into law the Tibetan Policy and Support Act 2020 or TPSA and changed the contours of the earlier US policy, which under the Barack Obama administration had sacrificed the region’s interests in order to foster better US-China relations.
The TPSA declares that the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan Buddhist leaders are religious matters and all decisions pertaining to reincarnations rest solely with the Tibetan Buddhist faith community based on the instructions of the 14th Dalai Lama and without interference by the government of the People’s Republic of China. The law also acknowledges the Central Tibetan Administration (the Government in Exile in Dharamshala) that is committed to peacefully negotiating its status as an autonomous entity within China. Last month, the Biden administration opted to continue the Trump policy.
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