The communist Chinese government should have no role in choosing the next Dalai Lama, US lawmakers are expected to affirm Monday — in, of all places, the 5,593-page coronavirus relief bill.
Buried among the pandemic recovery provisions of the massive, approximately $900 billion legislation — expected to pass late Monday — is an affirmation of Congress’ proposed stance on the hot-button religious and political issue.
“It is the policy of the United States that decisions regarding the selection, education, and veneration of Tibetan Buddhist religious leaders are exclusively spiritual matters that should be made by the appropriate religious authorities within the Tibetan Buddhist tradition and in the context of the will of practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism,” the passage reads in part.
It goes on to state that “the wishes of the 14th Dalai Lama, including any written instructions, should play a key role in the selection, education, and veneration of a future 15th Dalai Lama.”
Subtitle E—Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2020
SEC. 341. MODIFICATIONS TO AND REAUTHORIZATION OF TIBETAN POLICY ACT OF 2020