The 14th Tibetan Religious Conference in Dharamsala, India on Nov. 27, 2019. (Photo: Tenzin Phende/CTA)

The 14th Tibetan Religious Conference in Dharamsala brought together the heads of the different Tibetan Buddhist traditions and the Tibetan Bon religion, plus other eminent lamas and religious figures. They passed a resolution stating that the Dalai Lama’s reincarnation was solely up to him to decide. “If the Government of the People’s Republic of China for political ends chooses a candidate for the Dalai Lama,” the resolution said, “the Tibetan people will not recognize and respect that candidate.”

The resolution also urged the Dalai Lama to reincarnate, saying all Tibetans wished for him to do so. In 2011, the Dalai Lama had laid out his views on his succession in a statement declaring that Tibetans and Tibetan Buddhists should decide whether or not to continue the institution of the Dalai Lama after he died.