Tibetans committed to struggle: PM of government-in-exile

March 11th, 2011 - 5:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Dharamsala, March 11 (IANS) The Dalai Lama may have declared his intension to step down from politics but Tibetans remain committed to the struggle for their homeland, says Samdhong Rinpoche, prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

“Tibet’s struggle will continue. In the absence of his holiness’ direct involvement and political leadership, things would be difficult but we will not let our struggle stop. We have an elected leadership that will continue the fight,” Rinpoche told select journalists here a day after the Dalai Lama announced his decision to retire.

“His Holiness’ leadership cannot be substituted by any method but we have to learn to live without it. Yes, it would be hard but we will try to find ways. Moreover, he will not move away from our struggle,” he added.

Rinpoche said they were very much encouraged by the determination and commitment of the youth community, residing inside Tibet, to carry on the struggle.

“Many people (in Tibet) who are below 50 years have not even seen the face of his holiness. They were born and brought up under a red flag and have even lost their language but still they are very enthusiastic when it comes to the Tibetan cause,” stated Rinpoche.

“The second and third generation of Tibetans is very committed and determined to continue to fight. This is human nature, whether it is more or less, there is always love for land and culture and it cannot be destroyed by any force,” he said.

“We still strongly hope that the Tibet issue will be solved within the lifetime of the 14th Dalai Lama. After his demise, the 15th will be searched in accordance with all religious procedures. There would be no change in the procedure of finding a Dalai Lama,” Rinpoche said.

“The current Dalai Lama can choose the parents and place of birth of his successor. It is sure that he would reincarnate in a free nation.”

The Dalai Lama, 75, Thursday announced his decision to retire and devolve his “formal authority” to an elected leader while staying committed to the cause of Tibet.

“Normally the Dalai Lama gives indications about his next birth, place of birth, new parents during his lifetime. These indications are kept very secret and they will be divulged once the next search is started,” said Rinpoche.

According to Tibetan leaders, after the demise of the Dalai Lama, senior lamas search to find a reincarnation. Even the direction of smoke from the cremation can lead them in the right direction of finding a new Dalai Lama.

Talking about the Indian government’s attitude towards the Dalai Lama, Rinpoche said: “Whether the Indian government recognises the Dalai Lama as head of state or not, they treat him as head of state. We have no problem with Indian government.”

The Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 after Chinese occupation of Tibet. Over 100,000 Tibetans live in exile in India.

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