The Tibetan parliament-in-exile agreed on Friday to accept the Dalai Lama’s resignation from politics, paving the way for a new leadership structure within the movement. The Dalai Lama will continue to lead the Tibetan cause in his more important role as its spiritual figurehead, but two weeks ago he announced he wanted to step down as head of Tibet’s government-in-exile.
“It was a hard decision to decide to amend the constitution and separate His Holiness from Tibetan politics but he is doing it for the benefit of Tibetans in the long run,” Karma Yeshi, a member of parliament, told AFP. “Keeping that in view we have taken this decision.” The parliament unanimously passed four resolutions to oversee the handover process, after previously trying to block the Dalai Lama’s request.
The incoming prime minister of the parliament, who will be decided by results of an election last Sunday, will take over the Dalai Lama’s political responsibilities. Final election results will be known around the end of April. The parliament, which sits in the northern Indian hill town of Dharamshala, said it would hold an extra session in the coming months to implement the necessary changes to its constitution. The Dalai Lama, 75, has said that his decision will help the movement to pursue its campaign against Chinese oppression in Tibet after his death. Many Tibetans pleaded with him to change his mind.