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Ready to retire: Dalai
Tibetan Parliament unlikely to approve plan fearing that it might lose legitimacy
Lalit Mohan/TNS

Dharamsala, March 10
The Dalai Lama announced his retirement plan on the 52nd anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising Day here today.However, his retirement is not likely to be accepted by the Tibetan government-in-exile that feels that it might lose legitimacy in the eyes of its people and the international community in absence of the Dalai Lama.

Announcing that he would step down as political head of the Tibetan government-in-exile, the Dalai Lama in his speech said he would hand over his “formal authority” to a “freely-elected” leader.

“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 75-year-old Nobel Peace Laureate, who has been at the forefront of a six-decade-long struggle for freedom of Tibetans, said.

The Dalai Lama further said he was committed to playing his part for the "just cause" of Tibet. “The decision to devolve authority has not been taken because I feel disheartened. It is to benefit the Tibetans in the longer run. I feel gradually people will come to understand my intention and will support my decision and let it take effect,” said the spiritual leader.

He said he will formally propose to the Tibetan Parliament in-exile on Monday to make necessary amendments to the Charter for Tibetans-in-Exile reflecting his decision to devolve his authority.

As per the Tibetan Charter, according to which the Tibetan government-in-exile runs, the Dalai Lama is the head of state and also the political and administrative head of Tibetans. As per his announcement, he wants to give up all his responsibilities as head of state, political and administrative affairs.

The new Parliament will be elected when Tibetans across the world will vote on March 20. By devolving his powers, the Dalai Lama hopes to give the Prime Minister greater clout as the region seeks autonomy from China.Outgoing PM of Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, Samdhong Rinpoche said that Tibetan Parliament is not likely to allow the Dalai Lama to resign. “The Tibetan Parliament in-exile might not have that legitimacy in eyes of Tibetans in case the Dalai Lama withdraws as temporal and political head of the institution,” he said.

Rinpoche said that the retirement plan might also hit the ongoing talks between his envoys and Chinese authorities. “China does not recognise the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile. It had entered into dialogue process with the envoys of the Dalai Lama. So, in his absence, the Chinese government might not hold any talks with our representatives,” he said.

“The retirement may create a political deadlock in Parliament. So we have to look for innovative way to resolve the matter. The issue is not likely to be resolved in the next session. It would take a lot time,” he added. The retirement announcement did not surprise many as the Dala Lama had been talking about it since long. Sources here said the aging Dalai is concerned about the future of Tibetan struggle after him.

He wants that a Tibetan leadership should evolve during his lifetime that has the acceptance of all members of the community and can take the freedom struggle further after him. However, most Tibetans, especially those living in Tibet, are still spiritual and believe in the institutions of lamas. There is also an apprehension that the political leadership elected by around 80,000 Tibetans living in exile might not have legitimacy of the people in Tibet in the absence of the Dalai Lama. They believe only a spiritual leader could take place of Dalai Lama rather than the political leadership.

Remains honoured guest of India

New Delhi: The government on Thursday indicated that the Dalai Lama would continue to enjoy India’s hospitality even after stepping down from his present formal position since he was an “honoured guest” of the country. “His holiness the Dalai Lama is an honoured guest of India,” an MEA spokesperson said when asked if India will have any problem if the Tibetan leader continues staying in the country after retirement.

He’s playing tricks: China

Beijing: In a quick response, China said the Dalai Lama was trying to deceive the international community. “It’s his trick. The Dalai is a political exile under a religious cloak long engaged in activities aimed at splitting China,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesmwoman Jiang Yu said. “The government-in-exile is an illegal political organistion and no country in the world recognises it,” she added. 





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