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Dalai to retire; to make way for elected leader
Published on 11 Mar. 2011 12:54 AM IST
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Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama Thursday announced his decision to retire and devolve his “formal authority” to an elected leader while staying committed to the cause of Tibet.
At his annual address to Tibetans and the international community delivered here on Thursday morning, the Dalai Lama, 75, made his retirement plans amply clear. “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. Now, we have clearly reached the time to put this into effect,” the Dalai Lama announced in his speech delivered in Tibetan.
“During the forthcoming 11th 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,” he said.
He was addressing a gathering on the 52nd anniversary of the Tibetan national uprising. The message from the Nobel Peace Prize winner will be read on March 14, the first day of the Tibetan Parliament’s budget session in McLeodganj, the abode of the Dalai Lama and hundreds of exiled Tibetans. “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,” the Dalai Lama said. “It is to benefit Tibetans in the long run. It is not because I feel disheartened. 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.” The election for the new Tibetan parliament is to be held March 20.
‘Without Dalai Tibetans won’t recognise govt.’
Tibetan government-in-exile said the spiritual leader’s decision could undermine its legitimacy and indicated that the transition process cannot take place immediately.
Prime Minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile Samdhong Rinpoche said the Dalai Lama wants to completely retire from politics as he feels that “political leadership should not be confined to one person and individual”. He also said the government-in-exile has to find a way to keep the dialogue process with China on and admitted that the Dalai Lama’s decision would affect the talk process.
to resolve the vexed Tibet issue.
Rinpoche said the Dalai Lama will continue to be the spiritual leader as it does not come by appointment or by election. “It is all self-evident and it would not change.”
To a specific query, he said a few “aggressive” youths who protest against the Chinese government does not represent the youth of Tibet. “Tibetan youth believe in non-violence. A few youths may be aggressive but they are not violent,” he said.

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