By Tenzin Nyidon
DHARAMSHALA, Oct 25: The executive head of the Tibetan government-in-exile known officially as the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), Sikyong Penpa Tsering in a historic announcement to the Tibetan community in New York and New Jersey declared that 2025 will be commemorated as the “Year of Peace” in honour of His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 90th birthday.
2025 is a significant year as the Dalai Lama earlier stated that upon reaching the age of 90, he will call a meeting with senior Buddhist figures to discuss his reincarnation.
The Tibetan President said that the Kashag has made its stance clear on the matter of the 14th Dalai Lama’s reincarnation in October 2022 by releasing an official position paper. The document reiterates the Kashag’s commitment to assume the responsibility entrusted to them regarding the Dalai Lama’s reincarnation. It also provides assurance that they are actively working on addressing various related matters associated with the issue.
Sikyong Penpa Tsering’s remarks were made in response to the Chinese Communist Party’s continuous efforts to politicise Tibetan Buddhism, exerting control over the faith and lives of Tibetan Buddhists. Additionally, these remarks address China’s utilisation of ‘Order no 5’ as a political tool to interfere in the process of selecting the next Dalai Lama.
The issue of reincarnation of the octogenarian Tibetan leader has been central to Chinese government rhetoric in their claim over the matter and in the larger context, Tibet as part of their territory. The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader had previously announced that he would not be reincarnated in a region under China’s control. Instead, he expressed his wish to be born in a free country. Furthermore, he emphasised that China lacked the authority to recognise his successor and that the Dalai Lama has the sole authority when it comes to the matter of his reincarnation along with the will of the Tibetans both inside and outside Tibet.
The Dalai Lama whose 88th birthday was celebrated by Tibetans, supporters and admirers alike all over the world this year had assured that he felt healthy and will at least live until the age of over 110. The personal physician of the Tibetan spiritual leader, after completing a routine health check-up in Delhi on October 12 reassured that the medical test results showed no major health concerns or issues. His schedule to visit Sikkim and South India have been cancelled citing need of rest for the Dalai Lama.