Dalai Lama may relinquish political power



Dharamsala (Mar 10): Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama is likely to announce his retirement from political  life on March 14 through a message to be read out in the Tibetan parliament-in-exile. This was announced in an official statement quoting Dalai Lama here today.

The message from the revered Tibetan leader and 1989 Nobel laureate would be read on the first day of the budget session of the parliament-in-exile starting at McLeod Ganj, the abode of the Dalai Lama. “As early as the 1960s, I have repeatedly stressed that Tibetans need a leader, elected freely by the Tibetan people, to whom I can devolve power,” the Dalai Lama said in a written text. “Now, we have clearly reached the time to put this into effect.”

The Dalai Lama, who has long been saying that he is considering the feasibility of retirement from public life, said: “During the eleventh session of the 14th Tibetan parliament-in-exile, which begins on March 14, I will formally propose that the necessary amendments be made to the charter for Tibetans-in-exile, reflecting my decision to devolve my formal authority to the elected leader.”

The Nobel laureate, however, clarified that he would remain Tibet’s spiritual leader. “Since I made my intention clear I have received repeated and earnest requests both from within Tibet and outside, to continue to provide political leadership. My desire to devolve authority has nothing to do with a wish to shirk responsibility. It is to benefit Tibetans in the long run.”

“It’s not because I feel disheartened. The Tibetans have placed such faith and trust in me that as one among them. I am committed to playing my part in the just cause of Tibet. I trust that gradually people will come to understand my intention, will support my decision and accordingly let it take effect,” he said while addressing a gathering on the 52nd anniversary of the Tibetan national uprising day.

“Today, within the framework of the charter for Tibetans in exile, the Kalon Tripa (prime minister-in-exile), the political leadership, and the people’s representatives are directly elected by the people. We have been able to implement democracy in exile that is in keeping with the standards of an open society,” the spiritual leader noted.

“I would like to take this opportunity to remember the kindness of the leaders of various nations that cherish justice, members of parliaments, intellectuals and Tibet support groups, who have been steadfast in their support for the Tibetan people. In particular, we will always remember the kindness and consistent support of the people and government of India and the state governments for generously helping Tibetans preserve and promote their religion and culture and ensuring the welfare of Tibetans in exile,” he said.

On this occasion, the Dalai Lama said: “The Chinese government frequently states that stability and development in Tibet is the foundation for its long-term well-being. However, the authorities still station large numbers of troops all across Tibet, increasing restrictions on the Tibetan people. Tibetans live in constant fear and anxiety.”

“I strongly urge the Chinese leaders to review these developments and
release these prisoners of conscience forthwith,” he added.

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