A senior U.S. diplomat from Washington said China has no religious basis to choose the next one, and Tibetan Buddhist followers have successfully chosen their spiritual leader for hundreds of years. Samuel D. Brownback, United States Special Ambassador for International Religious Freedom (Goodwill Ambassador), did so during a conference call recalling his visit to India in October. Brownback said he went to Dharamsala in India to speak to the Tibetan community and tell them that “America is against the election of the next Dalai Lama in China.” He answered a question: “He is not allowed to do this. They have no religious basis for doing it. Tibetan followers of Buddhism have successfully chosen their leader for hundreds of years, and they still have the power to do so. Brownback said the United States maintains that religious communities have the right to choose their leader. He said, “This includes the next Dalai Lama.” Brownback said, “We think the Chinese Communist Party is completely wrong to say that it has the right to choose (the Dalai Lama).” The 14th Dalai Lama (85 years old) was expelled from Tibet and lived in India in 1959. He came to India after the Chinese action against the revolt of the local population. Over 160,000 Tibetan exiles in India, the Tibetan government works from Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh. There are over 160,000 Tibetans living in India. Brownback accused China of religious persecution, saying that “it will not help them in the fight against terrorism.” Brownback said China is trying to tell the world this is an attempt to stop terrorism, but it will create more terrorists. He said: “The way to fight terrorism is not to keep everyone closed. It is necessary to give religious freedom to fight against terrorism ”. Brownback called on China to stop attacking various religions, including the Uygars, Tibetan followers of Buddhism, Christians and Falun Gong.
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