Tibetan parliament to decide on Dalai Lama move in May

March 25th, 2011 - 7:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Dharamsala, March 25 (IANS) The Tibetan parliament-in-exile has formally accepted the Dalai Lama’s proposal to relinquish political authority and decided to hold a special session by May-end to amend the charter to pave the way for his retirement, an official said.

The parliament, before its tenure ends in May, will hold an extra session to deliberate on and amend its charter clearing the way for the 75-year-old Nobel laureate’s retirement, a spokesperson for the government-in-exile told IANS.

The parliament also decided to constitute a committee comprising parliamentarians and a member of the Tibetan cabinet to recommend amendments to the constitution for smooth transition of powers from the Dalai Lama to an elected political leader. It will submit its report before April 11.

The spokesperson said the parliamentarians on the last day of the budget session decided to accept the recommendations of a three-member committee formed by the parliament.

The committee, that also included Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche and Deputy Speaker Dolma Gyari, suggested that the majority of the powers vested in the Dalai Lama be transferred to the prime minister.

It has proposed amendments to the Tibetan constitution to devolve political and administrative power of the Dalai Lama.

The report was submitted to the parliament by Rinpoche March 23.

The tenure of the 14th parliament is coming to an end in May-end. Voting to elect the next “Kalon Tripa” or prime minister-in-exile and 43 members of parliament was conducted March 20. The results will be declared April 27.

The Dalai Lama formally announced his political retirement at the onset of the Tibetan parliament’s budget session March 14. On March 18, parliament passed a resolution urging the Dalai Lama to reconsider his retirement plans. The resolution was signed by 37 of the 38 members.

A day later, the Nobel laureate publicly appealed to Tibetans to accept his decision by making necessary amendments in the Charter of Tibetans to pass on his political authority to an elected leader.

“The rule by spiritual leaders or the rule by kings is an outdated concept. In reality, I have been describing myself as a semi-retired person for the last 10 years,” the spiritual head told a gathering here.

The Dalai Lama has lived in India since 1959 when he fled his homeland after a failed uprising against the Communist rule. His government-in-exile is based here but is not recognised by any country.

Some 140,000 Tibetans live in exile around the world, over 100,000 of them in India.

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