Dalai Lama’s message read in Tibetan parliament-in-exileMarch 14th, 2011 - 2:26 pm ICT by IANS
Dharamsala, March 14 (IANS) The crucial session of the Tibetan parliament-in-exile began in this north Indian hill town Monday with the speaker reading out the Dalai Lama’s message expressing his wish to shed political authority.
“The budget session of the parliament-in-exile began and the message of His Holiness the Dalai Lama was read in the house,” Thubten Samphel, secretary of the department of information and international relations of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), told IANS.
He said the session would continue till March 25. The parliament has 43 members.
“My intention to devolve political authority derives neither from a wish to shirk responsibility nor because I am disheartened,” the Dalai Lama’s message said, as read out by the Speaker Penpa Tsering.
“On the contrary, I wish to devolve authority solely for the benefit of the Tibetan people in the long run. It’s extremely important that we ensure the continuity of our exiled Tibetan administration and our struggle until the issue of Tibet has been successfully resolved.
“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. Therefore, it is necessary that we establish a sound system of governance while I remain able and healthy, in order that the exile Tibetan administration can become self-reliant rather than being dependent on the Dalai Lama.
“If we are able to implement such a system from this time onwards, I will still be able to help resolve problems if called upon to do so. But, if the implementation of such a system is delayed and a day comes when my leadership is suddenly unavailable, the consequent uncertainty might present an overwhelming challenge. Therefore, it is the duty of all Tibetans to make every effort to prevent such an eventuality.”
The Nobel laureate again reiterated his commitment to the cause of Tibet.
“As one among the six million Tibetans, bearing in mind that the Dalai Lamas have a special historic and karmic relationship with the Tibetan people, and as long as Tibetans place their trust and faith in me, I will continue to serve the cause of Tibet.
“I want to acknowledge here that many of my fellow Tibetans, inside and outside Tibet, have earnestly requested me to continue to give political leadership at this critical time.
“As a result, some of my political promulgations such as the Draft Constitution for a Future Tibet (1963) and Guidelines for Future Tibet’s Polity (1992) will become ineffective. The title of the present institution of the Ganden Phodrang headed by the Dalai Lama should also be changed accordingly,” he said.
The 75-year old spiritual leader announced his decision to retire from his political role March 10, the 52nd anniversary of the Tibetan national uprising.
“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 said in his annual address to Tibetans and the international community, delivered here in Tibetan.
The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is seeking retirement from some of the activities he has been carrying out in public life in exile in the over five decades since 1959 when he arrived in India.
Sources in the Tibetan parliament-in-exile said the Dalai Lama would announce retirement only from his ceremonial responsibilities as head of the government but not from his role as spiritual leader of Tibetans.
However, the exiled parliament could take six to 12 months to complete the legal formalities to accept his retirement plea, the sources said.
The retirement announcement comes at a crucial time when the election for the new Tibetan parliament is to be held March 20.
Tibet’s government-in-exile will also see polls for the Kalon Tripa or prime minister March 20. MPs to the next parliament will also be elected on the same date.
Born July 6, 1935 in northeastern Tibet’s Taktser hamlet, Tenzin Gyatso was recognised at the age of two as the reincarnation of the 13th Dalai Lama Thubten Gyatso. He fled Tibet after a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, basing his Tibetan government-in-exile here.
He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his non-violent campaign for democracy and freedom in his homeland.
However, China sees him as a hostile element bent on splitting Tibet from China.
The Dalai Lama’s government-in-exile is not recognised by any country, including India. Some 140,000 Tibetans now live in exile, over 100,000 of them in different parts of India. Over six million Tibetans live in Tibet.
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