March 10, 2011

Dalai Lama retires as political leader of Tibet-in-exile.

The Dalai Lama ends his political role as Tibet’s leader.

For years, as only the Dalai Lama would, he’s pushed and promised that true democracy, not religious or kingly leadership, is the best form of government for future Tibetan generations. And while for years he’s acted as number two in Tibetans’ political life, he has still been looked to as number one.

Now all that formally changes, for all time.

Excerpt via New York Times:

For years, the Tibetan spiritual leader has spoken of his desire to cede political authority, or “retire” as he sometimes put it. But in Thursday’s speech, the Dalai Lama made it official, announcing that he would propose the change during the session of the Tibetan parliament-in-exile that begins next week in Dharamsala, India…

Tim Johnson, a journalist and author specializing in Tibet, said the Dalai Lama’s announcement should not be interpreted as a signal that his influence is waning. Even if the Dalai Lama’s political authority is diluted, he remains the one figure capable of uniting and mobilizing Tibetans inside and outside of China, Mr. Johnson said.

“He may ‘retire,’ of sorts, but he will still play the predominant role,” predicted Mr. Johnson, who wrote the recent book, “Tragedy in Crimson: How the Dalai Lama Conquered the World but Lost the Battle with China.”…for the rest, click over to The NY Times.

It’s a smart, and selfless move. Now the future Dalai Lama—the one chosen by Communist China—will have no political power over Tibetans used to having a prime minister.

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