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Monday, 17 January, 2000, 15:58 GMT
New boy lama rejected

The Seventh Reting Lama The two-year-old boy lama had his head shaved


The Dalai Lama will not recognise the legitimacy of a two-year-old boy lama ordained by China, the exiled-Tibetan government in India has said.

The boy was ordained as the reincarnation of the Sixth Reting Rinpoche in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, on Sunday after being identified by Chinese-approved monks.

But a spokesman for the Dalai Lama in the Indian town of Dharamsala said that the new lama would have no legitimacy without the Dalai Lama's approval.


Dalai Lama The Dalai Lama and about 100,000 exiled Tibetans live in India

The announcement comes soon after the sudden departure to India of Tibetan Buddhism's third highest lama, the Karmapa, which was seen as a major blow to China's policy in Tibet.

The BBC's Beijing correspondent says the newly-ordained lama could become an important part of China's campaign to assert its control over the Himalayan region.

The boy was selected from more than 700 boys through divination, including letting candidates choose possessions of the previous Reting, a Lhasa government official said last week.

The Reting is significant as one of the few Tibetan lamas who can act as regent in the absence of the Dalai Lama, who held political power in Tibet before the Communists took power in Beijing in 1949.

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See also:
16 Jan 00 |  South Asia
Karmapa Lama 'to stay in India'
14 Jan 00 |  South Asia
India and China discuss Karmapa Lama
12 Jan 00 |  Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Hope for an exiled people?
11 Jan 00 |  Asia-Pacific
China warns India over Lama
10 Jan 00 |  Asia-Pacific
Division in the flock
10 Jan 00 |  Asia-Pacific
Diplomatic jitters over Lama's visit
08 Jan 00 |  Asia-Pacific
Tibetan Lama meets spiritual leader
08 Jan 00 |  Asia-Pacific
Who is the Karmapa Lama?
07 Jan 00 |  Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Lama's flight embarrasses Beijing

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