This just in. The Chinese Government, in their ongoing campaign against the Dalai Lama and Buddhism in Tibet, have announced a new law making it illegal for a Buddha to reincarnate without a state permit. This law is designed effectively to put an end to the form of Buddhism practiced in Tibet within one generation. The Tibetan monastic system is organized around reincarnated "tulkus" who are usually identified though a battery of tests at a young age and are then tutored and groomed to run monasteries and monastic schools when they grow up. This new law will make it a crime for anyone to be identified as a reincarnated lama without state approval -- meaning that from now on the Chinese government will be in a position to appoint or deny whoever they select to lead the Buddhists of Tibet. Of course the irony is that the Chinese state is atheistic and in making this law they seem to be contradicting themselves in admitting that Buddhas exist and can reincarnate. But furthermore, the notion that the Chinese state is qualified to identify or approve reincarnated Buddhas is patently absurd. This is one more unfortunate step in China's 50-year cultural genocide of the Tibetan people.