The Dalai Lama formally relinquishes political powers

Other News Materials 30 May 2011 16:50 (UTC +04:00)

Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has formally relinquished his political role by signing amendments to the constitution of the Tibetan government-in-exile, officials said Monday, DPA reported.

The 75-year-old Nobel laureate had in March announced he was retiring from his role as the leader of the Tibetan government-in-exile but said he would stay committed to the cause.

The Dalai Lama on Sunday approved the amendments the Tibetan parliament-in-exile had made in the charter to devolve powers to the newly elected leaders of the exiles.

"Now, all political and administrative powers held by his holiness are vested with democratically elected leaders," parliament spokesman Tenzin Norbu said.

"His holiness would remain the Tibetans' spiritual head," Norbu said over phone from India's northern hill-town of Dharamsala, the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile.

Lobsang Sangay, 43, a Harvard University scholar and international law expert, was elected as Tibetan prime minister or kalon tripa last month. He is slated to take the oath sometime in August.

Sangay, who has taken over the Dalai Lama's responsibilities, will now lead the Tibetan struggle for greater autonomy under Chinese rule. The government-in-exile is not recognized by any nation.

"According to the amended charter, the prime minister will now select representatives including special envoys who would hold talks with China," Norbu said.

"He is also empowered to approve and promulgate key legislation and regulations passed by the parliament. Other responsibilities of the his holiness have been devolved to the parliament and the judiciary," he added.

A statement by the Tibetan administration said the Dalai Lama would remain "engaged in the efforts to reach a satisfactory solution to the question of Tibet and to accomplish the cherished goals of the Tibetan people."

He will provide suggestions to the leadership and will also keep meeting world leaders on behalf of the Tibetan people.

More than 100,000 of the estimated 140,000 Tibetan exiles live in India where the Dalai Lama sought refuge in 1959 when he fled from his homeland following a failed uprising against China's rule.