Tibetan parliament accepts recommendation on Dalai Lama's political retirement



Dharamsala (March 25): A special session of the Tibetan parliament-in-exile would be held in May to decide the retirement of the Dalai Lama from political authority, an official said here today. The parliament would hold an extra session before its tenure ends in May to hold deliberations and amend its charter to pave way for the retirement of the 75-year-old Nobel laureate, a spokesperson for the government-in-exile told HimVani.

He said the parliamentarians on the last of the budget session, that began on March 14, finally decided to accept the recommendations of a three-member committee formed by the parliament to look into the matter. The committee, comprising prime minister Samdhong Rinpoche and deputy speaker Dolma Gyari, suggested that the majority of the powers vested in the Dalai Lama be transferred to the prime minister. It has proposed amendments to the Tibetan constitution to devolve political and administrative power of the Dalai Lama.

The report was submitted to the parliament by Rinpoche March 23. The tenure of the 14th parliament is coming to an end in May-end. Voting to elect the next “Kalon Tripa” or prime minister-in-exile and 43 members of parliament was held March 20. The results will be declared April 27.

The Dalai Lama formally announced his political retirement at the onset of the Tibetan parliament’s budget session on March 14. On March 18, the parliament passed a resolution urging the Dalai Lama to reconsider his retirement plans. The resolution was signed by 37 of the 38 members.

A day later, the 75-year-old Nobel laureate publicly appealed to Tibetans to accept his decision by making necessary amendments in the Charter of Tibetans to pass on his political authority to an elected leader. “The rule by spiritual leaders or the rule by kings is an outdated concept. In reality, I have been describing myself as a semi-retired person for the last 10 years,” the spiritual head told a gathering here.

The Dalai Lama has lived in India since 1959 when he fled his homeland after a failed uprising against the Communist rule. His government-in-exile is based here but is not recognised by any country. Some 140,000 Tibetans live in exile around the world, over 100,000 of them in India.

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