Dalai Lama resigns from politics

March 13, 2011 - 0:0

DHARMSALA (Washington post)- The Dalai Lama said Thursday that he plans to relinquish his political role as head of the Tibetan government-in-exile to a prime minister who will be chosen in elections March 20.

The move, announced on the 52nd anniversary of the Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule, reflects the Tibetan leader's long-stated desire to move the Tibetan refugee community away from theocratic rule and toward democracy and to prepare the exile movement, based in this northern Indian hill town, for his eventual death.
But the 76-year-old will remain the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people and will continue to wield huge influence both inside and outside Tibet, particularly on relations with China and his desire for “genuine autonomy.” He will also remain the movement's figurehead and by far its most prominent advocate.
The Dalai Lama had previously expressed a desire to delegate political power, but Wednesday's announcement was his most insistent and formal statement of that intention.