Announcing that a decision about his reincarnation will be taken when he turns 90 years old, the Dalai Lama seemed to confirm that his successor will be chosen before he dies, thus thwarting any effort by the Chinese government to nominate a puppet monk.
The spiritual leader is currently 76.
On the other hand, the Dalai Lama also suggested that the office could be eliminated altogether, the Hindustan Times reported.
“When I am about 90, I will consult the high lamas of the Tibetan Buddhist traditions, the Tibetan public, and other people concerned who follow Tibetan Buddhism, and re-evaluate whether the institution of the Dalai Lama should continue or not,” the paper quoted a statement issued by the Dalai Lama as saying.
The Dalai Lama reiterated that the Chinese government can have no say in who is eventually chosen to replace him.
"If it is decided that the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama should continue and there is a need for the Fifteenth Dalai Lama to be recognized, responsibility for doing so will primarily rest on the concerned officers of the Dalai Lama's Gaden Phodrang Trust," the paper quoted the Dalai Lama as saying.