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Tibetan official defends reincarnation system, slams Dalai Lama

BEIJING, March 9 (Xinhua) -- A senior Tibetan official on Monday slammed the Dalai Lama's recent claim that the Tibetan Buddhism tradition of reincarnation should cease with his death, saying that the religion and history should be respected.

Padma Choling, chairman of the Standing Committee of the Tibet Autonomous Regional People's Congress, also stressed that door for dialogue with the 14th Dalai Lama is "always open."

But he added that as to how the dialogue would be held and what to discuss totally depend on the Dalai Lama's attitude.

To regain his waning influence, the monk said in December that his traditional religious role should cease with his death, a claim that is against the Tibetan Buddhism tradition as the soul of a senior lama is reincarnated in the body of a child on his death.

The move is expected to upset the reincarnation system that has been honored for hundreds of years in Tibet and destabilize the Buddhist region.

The reincarnation of the Dalai Lama should follow strict historical conventions and required religious rituals of the Tibetan Buddhism and should also be approved by the central government, Padma Choling said.

"It's not up to the Dalai Lama," he noted.

"What he said is blasphemy against the Tibetan Buddhism," the official said after a panel discussion with other Tibetan lawmakers at China's annual parliamentary session in Beijing.

The year of 2015 is expected to be eventful for the southwestern Chinese autonomous region, as it ushers in crucial anniversaries and strives for development.

In September, China will observe the 50th anniversary of the founding of Tibet Autonomous Region.

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