Dalai Lama May Name Own Successor

Anti-Chinese maneuver would be huge break from tradition
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2007 6:48 PM CST
With a Japanese flag in the backdrop, exiled Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama takes the center seat at the beginning of the launching of the Ise International Religious Forum at Kogakkan University...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Fearful that the Chinese will influence the process, the Dalai Lama says he may break with Tibetan tradition and choose his own successor, the BBC reports. For centuries, senior Buddhist officials have searched for a child born around the time the previous Dalai Lama died. "If China selected my successor after my death, the people of Tibet would not support him," he said.

China has intervened before: When the Dalai Lama selected the Panchen Lama, the second-most-important Tibetan figure, Beijing detained the boy and installed a pro-China replacement.  The Dalai Lama, believed by Tibetans to be a reincarnation of his predecessors, has said that if he were reborn it would not be anywhere ruled by China.