Dalai Lama finally relinquishes political powers (Lead)

May 30th, 2011 - 4:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Dharamsala, May 30 (IANS) Nearly three months after he pledged to give up political leadership of the Tibetans, the Dalai Lama has formally devolved powers to the new elected leaders of the Tibetan exiles.

But the 75-year-old Nobel Prize winner said he would stay committed to the cause of Tibet — and also remain the Tibetans’ spiritual head.

A Tibetan official said the Dalai Lama Sunday approved the amendments the Tibetan parliament had made in the Tibetan charter.

“Now Dalai Lama’s administrative and political powers are vested with the democratically elected leaders,” spokesman Tenzin Norbu told IANS.

The Dalai Lama vested the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) and its elected leadership with the powers and responsibilities formerly held by him and the CTA.

It was on May 10 that the Dalai Lama, the global face of the Tibetan exile movement, shocked many by announcing that he would hand over power to the elected leadership.

According to the amended charter, the powers earlier vested with the Dalai Lama, who fled to India in 1959, as head of the executive have been delegated to the Kalon Tripa or the Tibetan prime minister.

Other responsibilities have been given to parliament and the judiciary.

Parliament has also approved that the title of “Tibetan government-in-exile” be changed to “Tibetan administration”.

Under the new charter, the Dalai Lama’s duties will include providing advice and encouragement with respect to the protection and promotion of the physical, spiritual, ethical and cultural well being of the Tibetan people.

He will also remain engaged in the efforts to reach a satisfactory solution to the Tibetan issue.

He will provide suggestions to the Tibetan leadership and people when such requests are made.

The Dalai Lama will also keep meeting world leaders and other important individuals and organisations to speak on behalf of the Tibetan people.

It was in 1959 that the Dalai Lama, who China calls a separatist, fled Tibet after an anti-Communist revolt. He then headed a Tibetan government-in-exile which never won recognition from any country.

India is also home to around 100,000 Tibetans.

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