Dalai Lama rules out retirement ’till death’ (Lead)

November 23rd, 2008 - 1:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Dharamsala, Nov 23 (IANS) Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, Sunday categorically said he was not thinking of retirement and was committed to the cause of Tibet “till death”.”There is no point or question of retirement. It is my moral responsibility to lead the Tibetans till my death. My whole body and flesh is Tibetan,” the Dalai Lama told a press conference, a day after a crucial six-day meeting of nearly 600 top Tibetan leaders to decide the future course of the Tibetan struggle ended here.

The Dalai Lama said he would continue to lead the Tibetans till they returned to Tibet.

“I am completely committed to the Tibetan cause. Tibet is a just issue. It is an international issue because it is based on truth,” the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner said.

Appearing composed before the nearly 200 media persons from all over the world, the Dalai Lama said he had “strong faith that one day we (Tibetans) can return (to Tibet)”.

The special meeting of the Tibetan leadership, called here Nov 17 to 22 by the Tibetan Parliament in exile at the instance of the Dalai Lama, Saturday reaffirmed faith in the leadership of the Dalai Lama and his “middle-path” policy to work for genuine autonomy for Tibet under China.

The meeting categorically requested the Dalai Lama not to even think of retirement or semi-retirement.

The Dalai Lama, in recent months, had been saying that he was in semi-retirement and wanted to retire from his public commitments.

The meeting asked the exiled government to hold back future talks with China till Beijing “respondeds positively” to the Tibetan demands of negotiating a genuine autonomy for Tibet, allowing exiled Tibetans to return and also protect Tibetan race, religion, language and culture.

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