Tibetan Parliament nod to Dalai Lama's wish to quit

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Dalai Lama
Dharamsala, Mar 25: A fortnight after the Dalai Lama expressed his desire to give up his political duties, Tibetan Parliament in Exile today agreed to amend its Charter to grant his wish but proposed that he continues as the ''symbolic head'' of the exiled Tibetan government.

Giving its formal approval to the Dalai Lama's wish to quit as the political head of the community, the Tibetan Parliament in Exile passed four resolutions on the last day of its Budget session today to prepare the ground map for the transition of power from the spiritual leader to democratically elected representative.

Prime Minister of the Tibetan government in exile Samthong Rimpoche told the Tibetan Parliament here that the House has agreed to the desire of the spiritual leader for an amendment in the Tibetan Charter (Constitution) to relieve him of his political duties.

"The charter shall be amended accordingly. And for that an amendment committee shall be constituted shortly," he said.

The chairman of the present (14th) Parliament has been authorized to choose this committee, he said.

"The Parliament will meet in a specially convened session by the end of May this year, (before the 15th Parliament takes over), to approve the amendments," he added.

The amendment committee shall give the report by April 11 and then the cabinet shall discuss it with the Dalai Lama, said MP Dhawa Tsering.

Earlier, the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile discussed the report of the three-member committee which proposed amendments to the Tibetan Charter to devolve political and administrative powers of the Dalai Lama to the elected leadership of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile.

The committee proposed that a new clause should be added to the Tibetan Charter to give a new designation to the Dalai Lama in which he continues as a symbolic head of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile.

The Tibetan Parliament has accepted the Dalai Lama's wish about a fortnight after the Tibetan spiritual leader, who has been carrying on a six-decade-long struggle for freedom of Tibetan Buddhists, announced his decision here to retire as political head of Tibetan government-in-exile and to hand over his "formal authority" to a "freely-elected" leader.

At the time of announcing his decision to quit as political head, the 75-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader, had however, made it clear that he was committed to playing his part for the "just cause" of Tibet.

Making the announcement in his speech on the 52nd anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising Day here on March 10, the Nobel Peace Laureate had said, "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, who had escaped to India in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule, had told hundreds of exiled Tibetans at the Main Temple in this hill resort on the occasion.

PTI

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