AP reports that last Sunday in India, the parliament of the Tibetan government in exile passed, and the Dalai Lama signed, amendments to the Constitution of the Tibetan exile government. Renaming the government the Tibetan Administration, under the amendments the Dalai Lama gave up his formal position as political leader of the country and will, from now on, only make suggestions to the civil government. CNN reports that the new civil leader of the Tibetan government is Lobsang Sangay. Yesterday's Morung Express explained in greater detail how these and other planned moves undercut extensive plans that China allegedly has to control Tibet in the future.
[The Dalai Lama's] next task will be replacing the current reincarnation-based selection process for his successor as Dalai Lama to one by nomination. As per his plans, his successor will be nominated during his own lifetime and will be an acknowledged scholar and an enlightened monk. This means that unlike the previous 14 Dalai Lamas, the 15th Dalai Lama will not be a child discovered through a traditional religious process and certified by a team of designated senior lamas as the reincarnation of the 14th Dalai Lama.
In the amended Constitution the provision of the traditional all-mighty ‘Council of Regents’ — a group of senior monks, Ministers and bureaucrats that takes over all powers of the Dalai Lama in the event of his death — also stands abolished. This change will automatically protect the ‘Government-in-Exile’ from any possible machinations by the Chinese during the 20-year-long ‘bardo’ — the period between the death and rebirth of a person. There are instances when China interfered in Tibet’s affairs using its influence on individual members of the ‘Council of Regents’. ....
Beijing today enjoys the privilege of having two Panchen Lamas under its physical control. It is in a position to parade dozens of ‘living Buddhas’ in front of Chinese and international TV from Tibet. It can also secure the services of senior Buddhist scholars and leaders from client countries who would happily endorse any Chinese sponsored ‘reincarnation’ of the Dalai Lama whenever the necessity arises.
But by giving up his temporal powers and proposing to change the succession system, the Dalai Lama has demolished the hopes of Beijing.