Future Dalai Lamas will not commend political influence - Buddhist spiritual leader

Interfax-Religion, January 16, 2007

Moscow, Russia -- The Buddhist spiritual leader predicts that future Dalai Lamas will have no political influence.

In an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper published on Tuesday, the 14th Dalai Lama said that in 2001, a political leadership was elected in Tibet through democratic elections and that he had "half-resigned" ever since. He added that in future reincarnations a Dalai Lama would not be a leader of political power.

Asked whether the institution of Dalai Lamas will continue its existence or die out, he said that it was "down to the Tibetan people".

Speaking of whether conflicts and wars based on clashes of civilizations could be avoided, the Dalai Lama said that he had the impression that there was a collision between the Western world and Islam. He said that the conflict was exaggerated, and that those Muslims who are involved in terrorist acts are a handful, who "cannot represent the whole of Islam as such."

According to the Dalai Lama, people who are poor representatives of their religion can be found among Buddhists, among Christians, and among Hindus.