Dalai Lama to retire from political life

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by SHASH2K2, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    The Dalai Lama is to announce that he will retire from political life within days.

    In a speech posted on the internet and due to be delivered in the next hour in Dharamasala, the northern Indian hilltown of Dharamasala, where the Tibetan community in India is principally based, the veteran Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader said that he would ask the Tibetan parliament in exile to make the necessary constitutional changes to relieve him of his "formal authority" as head of the Tibetan community outside China.

    The assembly, which meets early next week, is expected to approve his request. Though long-anticipated, the move away from the limelight by one of the world's best known political figures signals a dramatic change.

    Analysts and supporters have described the decision of the Dalai Lama, whose office traditionally combines spiritual and temporal roles, as "historic".

    Kate Saunders, of the International Campaign for Tibet, said that the decision meant that "at a perilous moment in the history of Tibet" the Dalai Lama was "expressing his faith in the Tibetan people."

    The current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, has progressively distanced himself from a direct political role and expressed a desire to live as a simple monk.

    "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 76-year-old was set to tell an audience at his traditional appearance to mark the anniversary of the Tibetan people's uprising of 1959 against Communist Chinese authorities in the Tibetan capital Lhasa and his own escape to India.

    Next week the Tibetan community in exile will vote to elect a new Kalon Tripa or prime ministe who will, depending on the constitutional changes, take on the Dalai Lama's political functions.

    The Dalai Lama, who is revered by his followers as the 14th reincarnation of the Buddha Avalokitesvara who achieved spiritual enlightenment, said that many of his supporters had asked him not to take the step.

    "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," the Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet in 1959, said. "My desire to devolve authority has nothing to do with a wish to shirk responsibility. It is to benefit Tibetans in the long run."

    Last year, at a conference in Delhi, the Dalai Lama said that a new set of political leaders were emerging among exiled Tibetans. Since 1960 an assembly has been elected by voters in exile but since 2001 the office of prime minister has been elected too. For the coming polls, 80,000 voters have registered in India, Nepal, Bhutan, US, Europe, Australia and elsewhere.

    The Dalai Lama had already described himself as "semi-retired" before this announcement. As unrest rippled through Tibetan areas in 2008, threatened to resign as leader of the administration-in-exile if violence continued.

    Two years ago, Der Spiegel, the German news magazine, asked him whether it was possible to resign as Dalai Lama, given that Tibetans believe him to be the latest reincarnation in a long line of religious leaders. He told them he would "no longer play a political role or a pronounced spiritual role".

    The question of the spiritual succession is highly controversial and has the potential to spark serious fractures within the Tibetan community. Chinese authorities are likely to exploit any opportunities offered by the transition of power.

    Some Tibetans would like to see the Karmapa Lama, a young cleric in his late 20s, succeed the Dalai Lama as the figurehead of the community in exile. Others believe it is time for a more fundamental change. Last year the prime minister of the government-in-exile told the Guardian: "The age of the old monks is passing and we are looking forward to a young, energetic, lay leadership."

    The Dalai Lama is considering ways of averting any succession crisis, possibly through the unprecedented step of seeking his own reincarnation.

    The speech, analysts said, was particularly aimed at the six million Tibetans living in China. The Dalai Lama and his senior advisors have been concerned in recent years about a gulf opening between the views and values of the two communities.

    In today's speech the Dalai Lama will speak of recent events in the Middle East, describing them as " remarkable non-violent struggles for freedom and democracy".

    "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," he will say. "We must all hope that these inspiring changes lead to genuine freedom, happiness and prosperity for the peoples in these countries."

    The Dalai Lama also reminded his audience of the importance of preserving Tibet's environment, a key theme in recent years.
     
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  3. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    I am sure its bound to have impact on Tibetan Independence movement as well. I am sure new head of Tibetan movement will not be as peace loving as Dalai Lama is.
     
  4. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    The Dalai Lama announced on Thursday his plan to retire as political head of the exiled Tibetan movement, saying the time had come for his replacement by a "freely elected" leader.

    The Dalai Lama, whose more significant role is that of the movement's spiritual leader, said h


    e would seek an amendment allowing him to resign his political responsibilities at the next session of the exiled Tibetan parliament in March.
    "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," the Dalai Lama said in a prepared speech. "Now, we have clearly reached the time to put this into effect."

    "My desire to devolve authority has nothing to do with a wish to shirk responsibility," he said in an address in Dharamshala, the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile in northern India.

    "It is to benefit Tibetans in the long run. It is not because I feel disheartened," he added.
     
  5. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    China says Dalai Lama playing 'tricks' with resignation

    China said on Thursday that the Dalai Lama was playing "tricks" on the world, after the Tibetan spiritual leader announced plans to step down as political head of the exiled Tibetan government.

    "He has often talked about retirement in the past few years. I think these are his tricks to deceive the international community," foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters. Earlier, on Thursday The Dalai Lama announced his decision to retire from active politics, saying the time had come to be succeeded by a "freely elected" leader. The 76-year-old head of the exiled Tibetan movement said he will formally propose to Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile that necessary amendments be made to reflect his decision.
    "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," he said speaking on the anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule.
    "During the forthcoming 11th session of the 14th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile which begins on March 14, 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," he said.
    The Dalai Lama, who had come to India in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule, said, "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."
    The Nobel Peace Prize winner said he was committed to playing his part in the "just cause" of Tibet.



     
  6. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    The text of the Dalai Lama's speech announcing his retirement


    Today marks the 52nd anniversary of the Tibetan people's peaceful uprising of 1959 against Communist China's repression in the Tibetan capital Lhasa, and the third anniversary of the non-violent demonstrations that took place across Tibet in 2008. On this occasion, I would like to pay tribute to and pray for those brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for the just cause of Tibet. I express my solidarity with those who continue to suffer repression and pray for the well-being of all sentient beings.
    For more than sixty years, Tibetans, despite being deprived of freedom and living in fear and insecurity, have been able to maintain their unique Tibetan identity and cultural values.
    More consequentially, successive new generations, who have no experience of free Tibet, have courageously taken responsibility in advancing the cause of Tibet. This is admirable, for they exemplify the strength of Tibetan resilience.
    This Earth belongs to humanity and the People's Republic of China (PRC) belongs to its 1.3 billion citizens, who have the right to know the truth about the state of affairs in their country and the world at large.
    If citizens are fully informed, they have the ability to distinguish right from wrong. Censorship and the restriction of information violate basic human decency. For instance, China's leaders consider the communist ideology and its policies to be correct.
    If this were so, these policies should be made public with confidence and open to scrutiny.
     
  7. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    'Without Dalai Lama, Tibetans won't recognise government'


    DHARAMSHALA: As the Dalai Lama announced his intention to retire from active politics, the Tibetan government-in-exile today said the spiritual leader's decision could undermine its legitimacy and indicated that the transition process cannot take place immediately. ( Read: Dalai Lama announces retirement )

    Prime Minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile Samdhong Rinpoche said the Dalai Lama wants to completely retire from politics as he feels that "political leadership should not be confined to one person and individual".

    Addressing a press conference minutes after the Dalai Lama delivered his annual address on the occasion of 52nd Tibetan Uprising Day, Rinpoche said, "Legitimacy would be the biggest issue before us if His Holiness's desires are fulfilled. He is the face and the Tibetan government and after that we may have any legitimacy in the eyes of the people."

    According to him, the political transition which the Dalai Lama wants is unlikely to happen immediately.

    "Despite His Holiness's request, the Tibetans and the government-in-exile do not feel competent to lead ourselves independently without him. It is a very long and difficult process. We have to think in an innovative manner to solve the issue... We don't have ready made solutions to this issue," he told the press conference, which had a considerable presence from the international media.

    He said the spiritual leader is the political and executive head of the Tibetan government-in-exile and every decision taken by it has to be approved by him. If the Dalai Lama's steps down, the political head of the government would be the Kashag, the prime minister or the head of the cabinet.

    To a specific question, Rinpoche said the Tibetan parliament-in-exile would have to find an innovative way to "accommodate" the aspirations of the Tibetan people and the desire of the Dalai Lama.

    "It appears that the resolution of the His Holiness will not be passed. In that case there will be a deadlock. We are urging the Legislative to find a wise way so that people's aspirations are also met... But the issue cannot be solved in a day or two," he said.

    He also said the government-in-exile has to find a way to keep the dialogue process with China on and admitted that the Dalai Lama's decision would affect the talk process to resolve the vexed Tibet issue. ( Read: China says Dalai's retirement a political trick )

    Rinpoche said the Dalai Lama will continue to be the spiritual leader as it does not come by appointment or by election. "It is all self-evident and it would not change."

    To a specific query, he said a few "aggressive" youths who protest against the Chinese government does not represent the youth of Tibet. "Tibetan youth believe in non-violence. A few youths may be aggressive but they are not violent," he said.
     
  8. Phenom

    Phenom Regular Member

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    It's an opportunity and a threat for China. Without Dalai Lama the Tibetan Issue may lose prominence in the international stage. But at the same time Dalai lama could be replaced by some one more radical, who may not be so willing to accept the Chinese dominance over Tibet.
     
  9. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    I was thinking the same thing, but it could also go in the opposite directions. There maybe more(covert) support from the west for a violent movement ???
     
  10. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    Agree with you completely. there are various small groups which want to take aggressive option for Liberation of Tibet. Unfortunately due to dalai Lama they are not able to have their way. Without Dalai Lama they can come to forefront of Tibet Liberation and their methods may not be as peaceful as its now. It will also depend on interests taken by Western forces.
     
  11. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    China finds that this proclamation is a trick of the Dalai Lama to keep the issue burning.

    As per BBC, China has stated that such proclamations have been made before and it just remains a proclamation and the Dalai Lama does not step down.


    Hence, a trick.
     
  12. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    how ? will the radicals organize militants to attack China from bases (in India? or Nepal) while the western patrons are far off? In that case would India allow such activities to backfire India in the end?

    again I say u don't know what's going on inside China (or simply Tibet AR). the most pragmatic way is to accept exiled Tibetans get naturalized in India. or when DL incumbent is gone they could turn out to be a liability of India i/o asset, realistically speaking.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2011
  13. sesha_maruthi27

    sesha_maruthi27 Senior Member Senior Member

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    It is important for INDIA to find another radical leader to fight the chinese. It is too bad for the Tibetans without "THE DALAI LAMA".
     
  14. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    CCP would love to know this.
     
  15. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    The nightmare would be the radicals (or the radical replacement for current DL) are based in India, not China thus whatever attacks on China can only be launched from India. Consequently their hostility towards China may drag India into a direct confrontation with China out of the veneer of merely a "sympathizer" and a hospitable "host" for the lofty Tibetan cause. Or would the refugees simply put up an agitated show within India herself?

    A precedent is King Birendra of Nepal shut off Mustang base for Tibetan rebels backed by CIA in the end when the double-edged blade got out of control hurting Nepal's own interest.

    Besides current DL has successfully built up an image of non-violence, human rights fighter and a "spiritual" leader in the world. Once the radical comes onto the stage throwing off the mistique, would the successor have the same appeal to the world, or popular support among different Tibetan factions or sects in exile (like dissident followers of Dorje Shugden)? Recall the recent 'spy' farce over Karmapa Lama?

    There'll definitely be a good fight over "incarnation".

    An atheist like CCP would most likely sit tight and watch the show.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2011
  16. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    Tibetan movement to continue after Dalai Lama's retirement: Rinpoche


    DHARAMSHALA: The de facto Prime Minister of Tibet-in-exile, Samdhong Rinpoche said here on Friday that the ongoing Tibetan movement would continue even after the Dalai Lama's retirement from politics.

    Speaking to the TOI, Rinpoche said that the transfer of the Dalai Lama's authority to an elected leader did not mean that the Tibetan movement would die and disappear. "It is a struggle for a nation," he said.

    However, he said that there would be certain difficulties in the transition of the power. "The transition will not be easy and smooth. It will be a painstakingly long and difficult process" said Rinpoche.

    The Dalai Lama after passing the power to the elected head would no longer discharge the responsibilities of appointing the Tibetan election commissioner, chief justices, auditor-general and dissolving the Parliament and cabinet. As of now, any bill passed by Tibetan Parliament-in-exile does not become a law without the approval of the Dalai Lama. Rinpoche said that it was a major cause of concern for Tibetans in and outside Tibet.

    He said that the Dalai Lama's decision could affect the legitimacy of the exiled Tibetan government. But to fulfil the Dalai Lama's wish to relinquish the temporal responsibilities, he (Rinpoche) would issue a message to the coming session of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile. He said all future course of action would depend on how intelligently the members of the legislative body formulated such a legislation.

    He said that the exiled Tibetan cabinet called 'Kashag' would urge the members of the exiled parliament to consider this matter and decide accordingly. He however added that the transition process would not be executed immediately.

    Samdhong Rinpoche said that a great number of Tibetans, collectively and individually, have been ardently supplicating the Dalai Lama not to take such a step.

    Samdhong Rinpoche is to also relinquish his political post as Tibetans around the world would directly elect their next Prime Minister on March 20th for the third time in history. However, the new Prime Minister of exiled Tibetan government would not assume office until August of this year.
     
  17. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    :lol: CCP's paranoia hasn't gotten any better since the last 60 years, hasn't it?

    It seems you have outgrown your success in terms of keeping your head between the shoulders. The precedent you are mentioning is of Nepal; NOT India. We share a lot of things in terms of culture and faith but you'd be making a mistake of elephantine proportions to confuse India with Nepal. How about you stop using terrorists in our area to your advantage and we do the same for you? Deal?
     
  18. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    Tibet exile MPs debate Dalai Lama's 'retirement'

    The Tibetan parliament-in-exile on Tuesday began debating the Dalai Lama's request to resign as political leader in what promised to be a highly emotional session. The 75-year-old Nobel laureate announced last week that he wanted to shed his role as political chief of the government-in-exile and hand his responsibilities to the next prime minister, who will be elected on Sunday. The change requires a constitutional amendment, which lawmakers in the exile parliament in the Indian hill town of Dharamshala were to discuss on Tuesday.
    In a letter read out in the parliament on Monday, the Dalai Lama argued that the Tibetan movement was now mature enough for a directly-elected political leader.
    "If we have to remain in exile for several more decades, a time will inevitably come when I will no longer be able to provide leadership," he said in the letter read by the speaker.
    The Dalai Lama's political title is largely symbolic and he will retain the more significant role of Tibet's spiritual leader.
    But the change is a significant step for the Tibetan movement in exile, which is divided between those who want autonomy and those who seek full independence for Tibet from China.
    "This decision of His Holiness the Dalai Lama is final. There is no going back," the current exiled prime minister, Samdhong Rinpoche, told reporters on Monday.
    The exile Tibetan movement has been based in India since 1959 when the Dalai Lama fled his homeland after a failed uprising against Beijing's rule.




     
  19. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    DARJEELING: With the Dalai Lama recently announcing his retirement plans, the Tibetan community in Darjeeling has gone into an overdrive, campaigning for two candidates recommended for the post of prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

    Whether through word of mouth, posters or emails, the Hills is abuzz with names of Lobsang Sangay, 43, and Tenzin Namgyal Tethong, 62, both of whom have roots in the Hills and are, thus, emerging as the favorites here for the coveted post. The third candidate in the fray is Kasur Tashi Wangdi, 64.

    The Tibetan government-in-exile will go to the polls on March 20 to elect the next Kalon Tripa (prime minister), after the Dalai Lama announced his desire to retire from active politics a few days ago. Tibetans in Darjeeling are elated that two of the candidates have their influence in the Hills. "We want such a person to head the exiled government who has been a part of the ups and downs... one who has all the qualities required for the post," said ****y Dolkar, who will be casting her vote for the third time.

    Sangay was born in 1968 in a Tibetan refugee settlement in Lamahatta, near 6th Mile in Darjeeling. He completed schooling from the Central School for Tibetans (CST) in Sonada and Darjeeling. He currently serves as a senior fellow at Harvard Law School and resides in Boston, US. He is known among Tibetans as a dynamic and dedicated person.

    There are around 1,45,150 voters in Nepal, India, Bhutan and the rest of the world all of whom will exercise their franchise the same day. Those above 18 years, possessing the dhanglang chathel (green card) and registered will be eligible to vote.

    "More than 2,000 Tibetans in Darjeeling Hills will cast their vote," said Tsewang Tashi Karleg, the Tibetan settlement officer of Central Tibetan Administration in Darjeeling. Centres will be set up in Darjeeling, Kurseong, Sonada, Ghoom, Pokhriabong, Sukhiapokhari, Mirik and 6th Mile. The polls will start from 9 am.

    Counting will start from March 21 and continue till March 31. "We may finish counting in Darjeeling in two to three days because of the small number of voters. We will then send the figures to our head office in Dharamshala," said Karleg.

    Tethong is the other strong contender, who originally hails from Utsang (central) Tibet. He completed schooling from Mt Hermon School in Darjeeling, graduating with a first division in science. A Distinguished Fellow at the Tibetan Studies Initiative, Stanford University (he played a key role in establishing the programme), Tethong is the founding member and president of the Dalai Lama Foundation and Board Chair of the Committee of 100 for Tibet.

    "The candidate must be patriotic and willing to work tirelessly for the cause of Tibetans," pointed out 25-year-old Tenzing, who will vote for the first time.

    Wangdi, being projected as Mr Clean, is the third candidate. Born in Sangag Choeling, Tibet, he had escaped to India with his parents in 1959. He was selected from among the first batch of 25 students from the main refugee camp at Missamari, Assam, to attend the first school for Tibetan refugee children set up by the Dalai Lama at Mussoorie.

    The Kashag (cabinet), chosen for a term of five years, is the highest executive office of the Central Tibetan Administration. The Kashag runs and fulfils all its executive and administrative responsibilities under the guidance of the Dalai Lama.
     
  20. cw2005

    cw2005 Regular Member

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    I thought the world would be much better when religious is separated from politics.
     
  21. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    Anyway it turns out to be an India's problem now as the host for the exiled rather than China's. The Tibetan community sounds autonomous inside India in continuation of the theocratic rule in the good old time. In Tibet AR the leadership fostered by CCP (some were former serfs like Redi ex-Chairman of Tibet AR) is instictively hostile to the "government in exile"
     

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