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The Dalai Lama announces resignation as Tibetan political leader

The Dalai Lama will step down as Tibet’s political head but will remain its spiritual figurehead, using his key role to push the Tibetan cause, according to his announcement last week.

Speaking during the anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, the Dalai Lama announced that he would seek an amendment which allows him to step down from his position in political office during a meeting of the exiled Tibetan parliament this week.

Speaking in Dharamshala, where he occupies the seat of Tibet’s government-in-exile in northern India, he said that he has stressed since the 1960s that a leader is needed in Tibet who has been freely elected by the Tibetan people. He said that he would devolve power to an elected leader. He added that it was clear that the time to put a democracy into effect was now.

He has been accused by China of deceiving the international community by playing tricks on them. The Chinese have called the 75-year-old Nobel peace laureate as a “splittist”, saying that he is bent on Tibetan independence.

The Dalai Lama will keep his role as Tibet’s spiritual leader, but the move will signify a watershed in Tebetan history which has been a long struggle against Chinese rule.

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