Dalai Lama threatens to step down if violence continued

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Dharamshala, Mar 18 (UNI) The Dalai Lama today refuted Chinese Government's claim that he had any role in inciting violence in Tibet and said he would step down as leader of Tibet's government-in-exile if violence continued in his homeland.

Urging his countrymen to show restraint, the Dalai Lama said at a press conference here after demonstrations turned violent in Tibet last week ''Unless violence stops, my only option is to completely resign.'' He said China was welcome to investigate whether he had a hand in the violence in Tibet.

''I am in no position at all to tell Tibetan protesters living under Chinese rule to do this or not do that.'' The spiritual leader's statement was flashed by the media worldwide following which one of his aides clarified his comments.

''If the Tibetans were to choose the path of violence he would have to resign because he is completely committed to non-violence,'' Tenzin Takhla said.

The Dalai Lama would resign as the political leader and head of state, but not as the Dalai Lama. He will always be the Dalai Lama, he added.

UNI XC AS MSJ HT1852

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