Author Topic: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role  (Read 26344 times)

vajralight

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The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role
« on: March 10, 2011, 08:36:16 AM »
http://www.nowpublic.com/world/dalai-lama-resigns-political-role-2765365.html

and

http://dalailama.com/news/post/655-statement-of-his-holiness-the-dalai-lama-on-the-52nd-anniversary-of-the-tibetan-national-uprising-day


Quote:

One of the aspirations I have cherished since childhood is the reform of Tibet’s political and social structure, and in the few years when I held effective power in Tibet, I managed to make some fundamental changes. Although I was unable to take this further in Tibet, I have made every effort to do so since we came into exile. Today, within the framework of the Charter for Tibetans in Exile, the Kalon Tripa, 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.

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. During the forthcoming eleventh session of the fourteenth Tibetan Parliament in Exile, which begins on 14th March, 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.

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 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.


vajra

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Re: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2011, 04:43:07 PM »
And also http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12689911

The TGIE better step up and face the music. They have so many problems to deal with (like health care, education and preserving Tibetan culture, anyone?), where are they going to have the time to suppress Dorje Shugden?

And the sooner their ineffectual nature is exposed, the sooner the Tibetans are going to realise that they are useless and their policies (including suppressing our Protector) are not worth following, and the only thing that was ever really keeping the Tibetan dream alive was His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Because seriously, who is going to listen to the TGIE? What do they have, that His Holiness doesn't? And if His Holiness hasn't convinced Beijing to listen to him, and if His Holiness hasn't fixed the problems in Tibetan society, who says the TGIE will be able to?

Sorry but it looks like the breakdown is starting to happen soon...

LosangKhyentse

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Re: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2011, 03:57:58 AM »


It is very good the Dalai Lama is stepping down but unfortunately he will still wield tremendous power behind the scene. His form of govt from day one never allowed anyone else to take the reigns of govt. It would be sacrilegious to say I wish to be the leader of Tibet. You would be indirectly saying Dalai Lama is ineffective. If you were to do that, you would have the Tibetan Govt in Exile (TGIE) knocking at your door.

There is absolutely nothing democratic within the Tibetan Govt and communities. There never was. With the Dalai Lama stepping down, psychologically it is in the right direction, but in actual practice he will hold the power from behind. No one dare oppose him. If they do, they will be ostracized or be pelted with stones for sure. Even if full power was handed to TGIE in reality, they would not be able to handle it. Who will listen to the 'elected' officials? With the exception of Samdhong Rinpoche, name a elected offical? Nobody knows how they are and they have been in exile for 60 years. The simple fact we know no other poltical players on the TGIE landscape clearly shows no one has been groomed. No one is allowed to be groomed. No one dares to aspire to be the leader at least not while the Dalai Lama is alive.

Well whatever it is, it is the beginning to the end.
TK

DSFriend

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Re: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2011, 07:35:48 AM »
Source : http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/mar/10/dalai-lama-step-down-qanda
Thursday 10 March 2011 12.21 GMT
What now for the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan cause?
The Dalai Lama has decided to relinquish his political duties – we ask why and what this means for the future

Does today's announcement mean Tenzin Gyatso is no longer the Dalai Lama?

No. It means that his role now is spiritual leadership only. Any political functions – effectively being the ultimate decision-maker in any non-religious matters – will be devolved on an elected prime minister.

So what happens to the spiritual role?

Nothing in the short term. The Dalai Lama is regarded as the 14th reincarnation of a famous Buddha who achieved enlightenment and as such can't resign. Nor does anyone appear to want him to.

But he's 76, so … ?

The question of who succeeds the Dalai Lama as spiritual leader will come to a head when he dies. The actual process of choosing the most senior leader in the diverse and complex world of Tibetan Buddhism theoretically depends on a variety of omens and signs that lead senior monk-scholars to the chosen child candidate. The process can take years and is contentious. Chinese authorities will try to impose a candidate who will follow their interests. The Tibetan community in exile will try to make sure their own becomes leader. A compromise may be the young monk known as the Karmapa, who fled into exile in India a decade ago as a teenager but is seen as potentially acceptable to Beijing.

Who will take over the political role?

Whoever is elected by the Tibetan parliament next week. The front-running candidate is currently Harvard law professor Lobsang Sangay, 42. He will be known as the Kalon Tripa.

Will the announcement weaken the Tibetan exiles?

Not necessarily. The Dalai Lama would not have made his decision if he did not think there was sufficient unity among the exiles and, crucially, sufficient common ground between Tibetans inside and outside Tibet itself, and inside and outside China, for the new system to work. However, many are now very worried by the prospect of a future in which he plays a lesser role.

Who will speak for the Tibetan cause now?

Still the Dalai Lama, though there will be someone else also speaking: the elected prime minister. This may make it easier for western governments in some ways. It means they could meet the Dalai Lama, as he would be a purely religious figure, while snubbing the political leadership and keeping Beijing happy.

Are there political reasons for standing down?

The Dalai Lama sees it as the culmination of many decades of edging the exiled Tibetan community into democracy, while keeping an authentic Tibetan identity. He has also said how he would like to return to being "a simple monk".

« Last Edit: March 11, 2011, 07:40:38 AM by DSFriend »

DSFriend

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Re: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2011, 07:46:46 AM »
The article below was published back in 2009...but includes information of what Dalai Lama foresee in regards to Tibetan cause and appointing of his successor.
---


Source : http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34020110/ns/world_news-asia-pacific/
Dalai Lama concerned about Tibetan cause

ROME — The Dalai Lama said Wednesday there will be a setback in the Tibetan cause when he dies, but that he has faith in the next generation of his followers.

The 74-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate has now spent 50 birthdays in India, where he heads a government in exile. His hectic globe-trotting has been interrupted by a series of minor health issues, including two bouts of exhaustion. As he gets older, there are concerns about who will lead the Tibetan exiles and push for their cause for freedom after his death.

"At the time of my death of course there will be a setback. There's no doubt," the Dalai Lama said at a news conference following his appearance at the 5th World Parliamentarians Convention on Tibet in Rome. But, he added, a very healthy, cultivated new generation is rising with the potential to lead the cause.

The convention also was attended by actor Richard Gere, a Buddhist who has been active in the movement to free Tibet.

Beijing derides the Dalai Lama as a "splittist," saying he really wants a Tibetan nation. For years, talks between Beijing and the Dalai Lama's envoys have ended in stalemate.

Traditionally, the Dalai Lama's successor is a boy born after his death, chosen by Buddhist monks who believe the child is his reincarnation. This means that decades may pass before the new Dalai Lama is ready to assume the leadership and emerge as the public voice for the next generation of Tibetans in their struggle for freedom from China.

The Dalai Lama has said his successor could be appointed before his death or chosen through democratic elections. He also has said the next Dalai Lama could be reincarnated in exile.
The Chinese government, which is officially atheist, requires all Tibetan spiritual leaders to receive approval from Beijing.

Fears that China will appoint a new Dalai Lama after his death have led Tibetan leaders to contemplate ideas that break with the centuries-old system of choosing a child believed to be the reincarnation of the deceased spiritual leader. Among the suggestions have been doing away with Dalai Lamas altogether or naming a successor before the current leader dies.


DSFriend

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Re: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2011, 08:04:41 AM »


It is very good the Dalai Lama is stepping down but unfortunately he will still wield tremendous power behind the scene. His form of govt from day one never allowed anyone else to take the reigns of govt. It would be sacrilegious to say I wish to be the leader of Tibet. You would be indirectly saying Dalai Lama is ineffective. If you were to do that, you would have the Tibetan Govt in Exile (TGIE) knocking at your door.

There is absolutely nothing democratic within the Tibetan Govt and communities. There never was. With the Dalai Lama stepping down, psychologically it is in the right direction, but in actual practice he will hold the power from behind. No one dare oppose him. If they do, they will be ostracized or be pelted with stones for sure. Even if full power was handed to TGIE in reality, they would not be able to handle it. Who will listen to the 'elected' officials? With the exception of Samdhong Rinpoche, name a elected offical? Nobody knows how they are and they have been in exile for 60 years. The simple fact we know no other poltical players on the TGIE landscape clearly shows no one has been groomed. No one is allowed to be groomed. No one dares to aspire to be the leader at least not while the Dalai Lama is alive.

Well whatever it is, it is the beginning to the end.
TK

Dear TK
You sum up the situation so well. It is indeed the beginning to the end... and perhaps a beginning of a new era for Dorje Shugden practitioners, I do hope so.

DharmaSpace

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Re: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2011, 01:43:39 PM »
After 400 years of both political and spiritual power in the hands of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, perhaps its time for change. Last time the Regents held power until the Dalai Lama's came of age. Where are the regents now ?

There has been many accusations about the Dalai Lama not being the real one, but look at the amount of responsibility he has to carry to listen to people all day all night, give talks non stop, can one really fake it till they make it in filling the shoes of the Dalai Lama. And the Western intelligentsia who are known to question every single thing, and he has to deal with thousands of them all one go. Are all these people sheep so easily deceived?


triesa

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Re: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2011, 03:35:02 PM »
The Dalai Lama has been trying hard to instill an elected leader to succeed his role as a political leader. I see this as a very good sign as he is paving the way to separate the political role from the spiritual role for the future leader of Tibet (in exile).

It was already known that after the current 14th Dalai Lama passes away, he will not be reincarnating back as the 15th Dalai Lama, continuing his role as the political leader of Tibet as well as being recognised as the emanation of Chenrizig, two in one role.

With his intention of this implementation, he is hoping that  whoever baby toy that the Chinese government will pick up as  his successor will not carry out too much weight and influence, even though China will pick up his puppet successor anyway. Then when Chenrizig emanate back again to benefit sentient beings, it will be purely from a spiritual aspect. I think that is what Dalai Lama hoping to achieve for the furure, as the chances to free Tibet is very slim, and Tibetans will very likely be scattering all around the world, merging with the local culture.


Helena

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Re: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2011, 01:41:18 AM »
Wow, this is such a big news. I have been so busy that I have not been to the Forum for a few days. So much to read and catch up.

Thank you for sharing it here, Vajralight. And truly, thank you everyone for your insightful comments and views.

The Chinese probably thought they are very clever to have issued all these new laws governing reincarnation and choosing their own Dalai Lama, but His Holiness also knows what to do and how to counter the Chinese's policies. Stepping down and allowing a chosen leader to take over is one way. Whether this person elected is a good and effective leader, that remains to be seen.

The Tibet of the old will never be again. I think that is a fact that many Tibetans will have a problem accepting. Especially, TGIE. In fact, there is really nothing for the TGIE to exist for - there is no country for them to rule over. I would not say that they have been really successful in looking after their people's welfare either.

Honestly, like TK wrote - the beginning of the end is here. A new era arises.

Whether the Chinese chosen leader or Dalai Lama is real or fake, only his actions will tell.

Sometimes it is not about anyone being a fake or real leader/spiritual Master. There is our karma, the collective students' karma and actions, and there is the individual's ability to manifest their own Buddha nature within themselves. As everyone has that Buddha potential, then it is whether they are given the right conditions to manifest fully, and what they themselves will do.

A huge concern for me will be what great Masters are there to educate the Chinese elected Dalai Lama since most of the great Masters are in exile or are too old?

Then I look at how the events have come about...look at how all the Dorje Shugden great masters have been somehow 'casted out' and been accepted by the Chinese because they have been casted out by TGIE.

Look at the great Masters who have been travelling to China without much hassle from the Chinese government.

All the Dorje Shugden masters will most likely be teaching the Chinese elected Dalai Lama. That is my personal opinion. And would that not just be too 'funny' - if the Dalai Lama practises Dorje Shugden all over again. Exactly like what Wisdom Being wrote in another thread.

I guess, when we look at how things have come about, it is hard not to accept that the Enlightened Beings have planned for it since the very beginning. And the fact that these Enlightened Beings can set certain things in motion from thousands years ago is the most obvious proof of all that they are Enlightened and they are real.

So, isn't it just possible then that Dorje Shugden and the Dalai Lama have been working together? Well, when you look at how things have came about and how each played their roles so well to bring about the greatest renaissance of Dharma back into their homeland. After all, their homeland has the largest population in the world.

In the end, Tibet may have lost their country. But through Dharma, they gained the whole world and even China - united in Dorje Shugden practice.

 

 
Helena

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Re: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2011, 01:43:32 PM »
I think the Dalai Lama stepping down is a good sign that his political clout in this lifetime is diminishing and he is preparing his fledgling democracy to take flight. It is time for them to appoint their own leaders that should have their dealings in the secular world and leave the spiritual affairs to the monasteries and their High Lamas.

It is also a sign that Dorje Shugden ban would be losing its support. It is not going to be an immediate effect but the ball has started to roll. Things will start to gather momentum and people would slowly but surely forget that there ever was a ban on Dorje Shugden. I hope this would happen sooner than later.

I am not sure if the Tibetan entity would exist into the future because for them, gaining independence would further diminish if and when the Dalai Lama passes. On a broader scale, this issue is not important but the continued survival of Dorje Shugden practice is greatly assured when the ban gets forgotten....which I hope would be sonner than later...

WoselTenzin

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Re: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2011, 02:53:23 PM »


It is very good the Dalai Lama is stepping down but unfortunately he will still wield tremendous power behind the scene. His form of govt from day one never allowed anyone else to take the reigns of govt. It would be sacrilegious to say I wish to be the leader of Tibet. You would be indirectly saying Dalai Lama is ineffective. If you were to do that, you would have the Tibetan Govt in Exile (TGIE) knocking at your door.

There is absolutely nothing democratic within the Tibetan Govt and communities. There never was. With the Dalai Lama stepping down, psychologically it is in the right direction, but in actual practice he will hold the power from behind. No one dare oppose him. If they do, they will be ostracized or be pelted with stones for sure. Even if full power was handed to TGIE in reality, they would not be able to handle it. Who will listen to the 'elected' officials? With the exception of Samdhong Rinpoche, name a elected offical? Nobody knows how they are and they have been in exile for 60 years. The simple fact we know no other poltical players on the TGIE landscape clearly shows no one has been groomed. No one is allowed to be groomed. No one dares to aspire to be the leader at least not while the Dalai Lama is alive.

Well whatever it is, it is the beginning to the end.
TK

This shows that although outwardly Dalai Lama may say that he wants to relinquish his political power, it seems more like a facade to boost his public image.  In reality, there is no real political determination for democracy to prevail.  Otherwise, there won't be a underlying fear among the Tibetans to voice their support for democracy.  In fact, it is a well known fact that if someone is known to even aspire to be a democratic leader of Tibet, it is no different from inviting trouble for themselves.  Sad but true.  The TGIE doesn't realize that they are paving way for their own demise without succession planning. 

WisdomBeing

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Re: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2011, 10:57:01 PM »
This TIME magazine blog post (http://globalspin.blogs.time.com/2011/03/10/india-to-the-dalai-lama-stay-as-long-as-you-like-really/) dated Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 2:50 pm, is interesting in that it says that India still welcomes the Dalai Lama to stay in India even after retirement (i didn't know that there was even a risk that the Dalai Lama would be asked to leave India!).

I like the phrase "When you're a guest in India, of course, that comes with certain responsibilities, the first of which is never to offend your hosts."! Let's see how the political shift of the TGIE affects their so far tolerant host country.

This article states that:

When you're a guest in India, of course, that comes with certain responsibilities, the first of which is never to offend your hosts. In 2009, when tensions were flaring up between India and China over their unresolved border in Arunachal Pradesh, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh used the same phrase at a regional summit in Bangkok:

"I explained to Premier Wen that the Dalai Lama is our honored guest. He is a religious leader," Singh told reporters, adding, "We do not allow Tibetan refugees to indulge in political activities."

That has always been the agreement between the Tibetan exile community in India and the government: make yourselves at home, but please keep the noise down. The Dalai Lama's latest statement complicates matters, by connecting the dots between the Arab Spring, the pro-democracy movement in China, the Tibetan cause and his own decision to step down in favor of an elected leader:

"In recent weeks we have witnessed remarkable non-violent struggles for freedom and democracy in various parts of North Africa and elsewhere. I am a firm believer in non-violence and people-power and these events have shown once again that determined non-violent action can indeed bring about positive change. We must all hope that these inspiring changes lead to genuine freedom, happiness and prosperity for the peoples in these countries."

As the world's largest democracy, India can hardly put itself on the wrong side of that equation on principle. In recent days, Indian officials have also taken a softer line with the Karmapa, who was recently the subject of a foreign-currency probe that now seems to have been resolved as little more than an accounting issue. If he emerges as the Tibetans' new leader, the Karmapa, too, will have to maintain good relations with India.

But the passionate rhetoric that strikes such a positive emotional tone in the West makes India's foreign policy establishment uneasy. The view from New Delhi over the Himalayas to Tibet can't help but include Kashmir.

Kate Walker - a wannabe wisdom Being

Mana

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Re: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2011, 06:04:04 AM »
From Spencer in the Guestbook:Submitted on 14 March 2011 16:46:57

Exiled lawmakers to debate Dalai Lama's devolution plan New Delhi, India (CNN) -- Exiled Tibetan lawmakers are set to hold a historic debate on the Dalai Lama's offer to shed his political role, the speaker of their parliament said Monday. The statement came after the speaker read to the legislators the spiritual leader's proposals to accord greater powers to their elected representatives. "The essence of a democratic system is, in short, the assumption of political responsibility by elected leaders for the popular good. In order for our process of democratization to be complete, the time has come for me to devolve my formal authority to such an elected leadership," the Dalai Lama said in his message to Tibet's parliament-in-exile, which is meeting at Dharamsala, India.

"The general lack of experience and political maturity in our democratic institutions has prevented us from doing this earlier," he added. Dalai Lama to retire RELATED TOPICS Dalai Lama Tibet China Penpa Tsering, the speaker of the exile unicameral chamber, told CNN that its lawmakers would now debate the Dalai Lama's motion. "We should get a sense of the house by tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon," he said.

The assembly, he explained, will primarily have three options -- accept all his proposals, reject them completely or recommend what he called a middle course by giving more executive powers to the elected leadership of Tibet exiles. In case the lawmakers agree to the Dalai Lama's proposals in totality, they will be required to set up a special drafting committee to amend their present constitution or the charter, he said. The whole process then may take months, possibly beyond the next session slated for June, Tsering added. "But to me, the first option (of accepting all his proposals) seems difficult," the speaker cautioned. "This will have many ramifications, including those related to the Dalai Lama-led dialogue with China."

According to Tsering, the Dalai Lama could be requested to retain political leadership of the community while devolving his ceremonial powers into elected representatives as a middle ground. In his message, the Tibetan community's global figurehead cited democracy as a key means to the success of his movement. "No system of governance can ensure stability and progress if it depends solely on one person without the support and participation of the people in the political process.

One man rule is both anachronistic and undesirable. "We have made great efforts to strengthen our democratic institutions to serve the long-term interests of the six million Tibetans, not out of a wish to copy others, but because democracy is the most representative system of governance," he wrote. The final vote for a new prime minister of his government-in-exile is due on March 20. The Dalai Lama fled China 52 years ago on March 10, 1959, after a failed uprising. The exile group is headquartered in Dharamsala. He told CNN in October that he would like to retire at some point. "I'm also a human being. ... Retirement is also my right," he said while on a speaking tour of North America. Without saying exactly when, he said, "Sooner or later, I have to go. I'm over 75, so next 10 years, next 20 years, one day I will go."

vajralight

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Re: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2011, 02:29:18 PM »
http://www.stltoday.com/news/world/article_37ba2b85-60c3-5df6-8ebb-d75d1dbf53d5.html

Tibetans urge Dalai Lama to stay on as leader

The Tibetan parliament-in-exile opened debate Tuesday on the Dalai Lama's decision to give up his political role with a plea by some members for the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader to reconsider.

About one-third of the 43 members who participated in the ongoing discussions proposed that the Nobel Peace laureate stay on as the political leader, said the Tibetan prime minister-in-exile, Samdhong Rinpoche.

"It is very likely that parliament does not accept his suggestion to step down," he told The Associated Press.

Last week, the Dalai Lama said he would give up his political power in the exile Tibetan government and shift that authority to an elected representative.

He asked the parliament-in-exile to amend its constitution in the current session, which ends March 25.

The Dalai Lama made the announcement during the March 10 anniversary of the failed 1959 uprising against Chinese rule in his Himalayan homeland that sent him into exile. He said the time had come "to devolve my formal authority to the elected leader."

On Tuesday, Dawa Tsering, a member of parliament, said the Dalai Lama's withdrawal would affect his emissaries' dialogue with the Chinese leadership. The leadership in Beijing has dismissed his talk of retirement as a trick playing into the hands of the international community.

"He is such an inspiration to the Tibetans in Tibet and in exile, so we feel that he should stay," Dawa said.

Tenzin Tsundue, a Tibetan activist, said if democracy was a public mandate, the Dalai Lama was a universal choice of the Tibetans. "Therefore, his leadership is democratic."

A new prime minister is expected to be elected in the coming weeks. Any Tibetan who has registered with the exile government is allowed to cast a ballot. Most of the electorate is made up of exiles.

The 76-year-old Dalai Lama is believed to be in fairly good health, but China's continued heavy-handed rule over Tibet has made the succession question all important within the Tibetan community.

Beijing vilifies the Dalai Lama as a political schemer, has negotiated only fleetingly with his representatives and made clear that it intends to have the final say in naming his successor when he dies.

The current Dalai Lama has indicated his successor would come from the exile community. Beijing, though, insists the reincarnation must be found in China's Tibetan areas, giving the Communist authorities immense power over who is chosen.

Many observers believe there eventually will be rival Dalai Lamas one appointed by Beijing, and one by senior monks loyal to the current Dalai Lama.

Mana

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Re: The Dalai Lama Resigns from Political Role
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2011, 04:20:59 PM »
From Thiago Nunez 15 March 2011 15:06:47- Guestbook post

Tibetan parliament says no to Dalai Lama's resignation Dharamsala, March 15 (IANS) The Tibetan parliament-in-exile based in this north Indian hill station Tuesday overwhelmingly favoured the continuation of their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, as political head. Meanwhile, the Tibetan cabinet acceded to the Dalai Lama's decision to retire. The Nobel laureate March 10 announced that he wanted to shed his role as political head of the government-in-exile and hand over his responsibilities to the next prime minister.

As the second day of the Tibetan parliament began, prime minister in exile Samdhong Rinpoche said: 'With a heavy heart, we have to accept His Holiness' decision of retirement as political head of the state.' He said the seven cabinet members unanimously accepted Dalai Lama's decision. However, sources in the Dalai Lama's office said the issue would be listed for discussion in parliament again Thursday. It would take a few more days to arrive at any conclusion as some of the issues might be referred to committees. 'Though the cabinet has accepted the resignation, it's clear from the debate that the house is unlikely to give a nod to his resignation. Majority of members of the house wanted him to continue as their political as well as religious head,' a parliamentarian told IANS. 'Some members favoured that a referendum could be held among the two lakh exiled Tibetans on the issue. Some members averred that some middle-way approach could also be explored which mean that the Dalai Lama continues to be political leader and parliament gets more responsibilities,' he said, requesting anonymity. As many as 37 out of the 43 MPs are attending the session, which is on till March 25.

Ugen Topgyal, a member, said that majority of the members were opposed to the decision of the Dalai Lama to step down from his political role. Sources said the vote on the issue could be held later this week. In a message read out to parliamentarians Monday, the Dalai Lama said the Tibetan movement was now mature enough for a directly-elected political leader. 'My intention to devolve political authority derives neither from a wish to shirk responsibility, nor because I am disheartened,' said the message. 'On the contrary, I wish to devolve authority solely for the benefit of the Tibetan people in the long run. It's extremely important that we ensure the continuity of our exiled Tibetan administration and our struggle until the issue of Tibet has been successfully resolved.' 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. The retirement announcement comes at a crucial time when the election for the new Tibetan parliament is to be held March 20. The Dalai Lama's government-in-exile is not recognised by any country, including India. Some 140,000 Tibetans now live in exile, over 100,000 of them in different parts of India. Over six million Tibetans live in Tibet. SEARCH