The centuries-old tradition of living Buddha reincarnations in Tibetan Buddhism should be respected, said a tibetologist here on Wednesday at a press conference.
"I would not like to make any assumption about the passing of the present Dalai Lama," said Lian Xiangmin, director of Research Projects Office with the China Tibetology Research Center.
"About what is going to be in the future, I suggest looking back on history and taking account of the common wish of the followers."
Since the Yellow Sect of Tibetan Buddhism was founded in the 15th century, it has developed a set of religious rituals and historical conventions concerning the reincarnation of living Buddhas, he said. "We should pay full respect to them."
Since the fifth Dalai Lama, the enthronement of the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama has had approval from the central government, he said.
The current 14th Dalai Lama received approval to be enthroned from the government of the Republic of China in 1940, the then central government.
When asked about demonstrations by monks from the Zhaibung Monastery between March 10 and 13, Lian said the country has clear laws and regulations on demonstrations.
"If the monks held demonstrations through legal procedures, I would have called them peaceful demonstrations. But if not, at least what they did was illegal," he said.
The time for theocratic rule in Tibet has ended, Lian said. "I think the separation of religion and politics is a progress for Tibet."
He added "I respect those working hard on Buddhist sutra and would like to share ideas with them. But I don't agree on religious figures who take such an active part in political affairs, such as the 14th Dalai Lama."
He is standing against the historic trend by sticking to theocracy, Lian said.
"I also don't understand that the monks participated in this incident (the violent unrest in Lhasa)," he said.