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Tibet Parliament allows Dalai Lama to retire


Updated: March 25, 2011, 6:10 PM IST
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Tibet Parliament allows Dalai Lama to retire
The amendment committee shall give the report by April 11.

Dharamsala: The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile has accepted the Dalai Lama's desire to be relieved of his political duties and agreed to amend its Charter for the purpose but has proposed that he should continue as the 'symbolic head' of the Tibetan government.

Prime Minister of the Tibetan government in exile Samthong Rimpoche told the Tibetan Parliament here on the last day of its Budget session on Friday that the House has agreed to the desire of the spiritual leader for an amendment in the Tibetan Charter (Constitution) to relieve him of his political duties.

"The charter shall be amended accordingly. And for that an amendment committee shall be constituted shortly," he said.

The chairman of the present (14th) Parliament has been authorized to choose this committee, he said.

"The Parliament will meet in a specially convened session by the end of May this year, (before the 15th Parliament takes over), to approve the amendments," he added.

A resolution to this effect was also passed by the House by voice vote.

The amendment committee shall give the report by April 11 and then the cabinet shall discuss it with the Dalai Lama, said MP Dhawa Tsering.

Earlier, the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile discussed the report of the three-member committee which proposed amendments to the Tibetan Charter to devolve political and administrative powers of the Dalai Lama to the elected leadership of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile.

The proposed amendments aim to transfer the powers of the Dalai Lama to Tibetan Prime Minister-in-exile.

They also proposed that a new clause should be added to the Tibetan Charter to give a new designation to the Dalai Lama in which he continues as a symbolic head of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile.

The Tibetan Parliament has accepted the Dalai Lama's wish about a fortnight after the Tibetan spiritual leader, who has been carrying on a six-decade-long struggle for freedom of Tibetan Buddhists, announced his decision here to retire as political head of Tibetan government-in-exile and to hand over his "formal authority" to a "freely-elected" leader.

At the time of announcing his decision to quit as political head, the 75-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader, had however, made it clear that he was committed to playing his part for the "just cause" of Tibet.

The Nobel Peace Laureate had made the announcement in his speech on the 52nd anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising Day here on March 10.

"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, who had escaped to India in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule, had told hundreds of exiled Tibetans at the Main Temple in this hill resort.

Sources on Friday said that the in-House committee had recommended that maximum administrative powers of the Tibetan Government in exile that were presently being held by the Dalai Lama should be handed over to (Kalon Tripa), Tibetan Prime Minister-in-Exile, which include passing of the law and the bills.

The Dalai Lama as the administrative head of the Tibetan Government-in-Exile used to administer oath of office and secrecy to the Kalon Tripa (PM) and the Speaker. Now that function would be delegated to the Chief Justice Commissioner.

And the appointment of the Chief Justice Commissioner, Accounts General and Election Commissioner shall be done by the Tibetan Government-in-Exile instead of Dalai Lama.

The report, submitted by the committee, also proposes that the Ganden Phodrang, name of Tibetan Government-in-Exile in their Charter, should be changed to the Central Tibetan Administration of Tibet.

Ganden Phodrang refers to the institution of the Dalai Lama.

First Published: March 25, 2011, 6:10 PM IST
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