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Dalai Lama to retire, make way for elected leader

By The Assam Tribune

Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh), Mar 10 (IANS): Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama today 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, 10 km from this hill town, the abode of the Dalai Lama and hundreds of exiled Tibetans.

The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is seeking retirement from some of the activities he has been carrying out in public life in exile in the over five decades since 1959 when he arrived in India.

"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."

Sources in the Tibetan parliament-in-exile said Dalai Lama would announce retirement only from his ceremonial responsibilities as head of the government but not from his role as spiritual leader of Tibetans. However, the exiled parliament could take six to 12 months to complete the legal formalities to accept his retirement plea, the sources said.

The sources added that the Dalai Lama could announce his retirement from nine major responsibilities. These include signing amendments to the charter and its rules and regulations, signing of final budget document, permission for holding exiled parliament session, appointment of top functionaries in the Tibetan government-in-exile, calling for referendums, dissolving the parliament and cabinet, passing ordinances, honouring personalities and addressing the parliament.

The election for the new Tibetan parliament is to be held March 20.

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Dalai Lama to retire, make way for elected leader

Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh), Mar 10 (IANS): Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama today 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, 10 km from this hill town, the abode of the Dalai Lama and hundreds of exiled Tibetans.

The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is seeking retirement from some of the activities he has been carrying out in public life in exile in the over five decades since 1959 when he arrived in India.

"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."

Sources in the Tibetan parliament-in-exile said Dalai Lama would announce retirement only from his ceremonial responsibilities as head of the government but not from his role as spiritual leader of Tibetans. However, the exiled parliament could take six to 12 months to complete the legal formalities to accept his retirement plea, the sources said.

The sources added that the Dalai Lama could announce his retirement from nine major responsibilities. These include signing amendments to the charter and its rules and regulations, signing of final budget document, permission for holding exiled parliament session, appointment of top functionaries in the Tibetan government-in-exile, calling for referendums, dissolving the parliament and cabinet, passing ordinances, honouring personalities and addressing the parliament.

The election for the new Tibetan parliament is to be held March 20.