Dalai Lama To Give Up Political Role

dalai-lamaThe Dalai Lama is ready to relinquish his duty as the recognized political leader of the Tibetan community outside China.

In an announcement released on Thursday, the Dalai Lama said that he would request the Tibetan Parliament to amend the autonomous region’s constitution to relieve him of his official political role in favor of someone “freely elected” by the people. The Tibetan Parliament will hold its session later this month and members are expected to approve the Dalai Lama’s request.

“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 Tibetan spiritual leader said. The 76-year-old political figure, however, clarified that his decision should not be interpreted as his way of shying away from the difficult job of running the exiled government. “My desire to devolve authority has nothing to do with a wish to shirk responsibility. It is to benefit Tibetans in the long run,” he said.