Join our Mailing List

"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Dalai Lama 'to retire' from government-in-exile role: office

November 23, 2010

NEW DELHI, Nov 23, 2010 (AFP) - The Dalai Lama intends to retire as head of the Tibetan government in exile next year as he looks to scale back his workload and reduce his ceremonial role, his spokesman told AFP Tuesday.

The Tibetan movement in exile, based in the northern Indian hill station of Dharamshala since 1960, directly elected a political leader in 2001 for the first time.

"Since then, His Holiness has always said he has been in a semi-retired state," spokesman Tenzin Taklha said.

"In recent months, His Holiness has been considering approaching the Tibetan parliament in exile to discuss his eventual retirement."

Taklha stressed that his "retirement" would be from his ceremonial responsibilities as head of the government, such as signing resolutions, not his role as spiritual leader and figurehead for Tibetans.

"This does not mean that he will withdraw from leading the political struggle. He is the Dalai Lama, so he will always lead the Tibetan people," he said.

The 75-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner is the global face for the Tibetan struggle against Chinese rule in Tibet, as well as a leading promoter of human rights, dialogue between religions and Buddhist values.

There are concerns inside and outside Tibet that his eventual death will deal a blow to the coherence of the Tibetan movement, which seeks independence or autonomy for the Buddhist region from Chinese rule.

Taklha said the Dalai Lama would raise the subject of his retirement at the next session of parliament in March and would then look to step back from his responsibilities in the following six months.

"It would depend on talking to the parliament and hearing their views on this. Nothing is for sure, but these are things that are being considered by him," he said.

Taklha stressed, however, that "he cannot resign from being the Dalai Lama. He will always be the Dalai Lama."

He is the spiritual leader of Tibetans, and is seen as the reincarnation of the first Dalai Lama, who was born in 1391. The present incarnation was plucked from his farming family at the age of two to take up the role.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
Developed by plank