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Dalai firm on his decision to quit politics

2011/03/17 23:29:33

Dharamsala, India, March 17 (CNA) The Dalai Lama, Tibet'sspiritual leader, gave a definite "no" to a majority of Tibetanparliamentarians' request that he stay on to lead thegovernment-in-exile.

It was time he terminated an outdated system that had been therefor four centuries, he told reporters at Dharamsala.

On March 10, he announced his intention to relinquish hispolitical role to a popularly elected leader.

"My desire to devolve authority has nothing to do with a wish toshirk responsibility. It is to benefit Tibetans in the long run, " hesaid at the time.

The Cabinet of his government-in-exile has agreed to honor hisdecision, but the parliament-in-exile, which convened on March 14,hoped he would continue to lead.

During an interview with foreign media, including the CNA, the75-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate said: "If (theparliamentarians) come tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, then Iwill tell them: No, my decision as far as an institution as a head ofboth temporal and spiritual, that must end, that is outdated."

He said he made that decision out of his own accord, not out ofpressure.

The Dalai Lama said that his leadership was as outdated as amonarchy and insisted he would relinquish a four-century oldtradition of power.

"The rule by spiritual leaders, the rule by kings or rajas is nowoutdated, " said the 14th Dalai Lama, who has been calling fordemocratic reforms since the 1960s. "I do not want to be like(ousted President of Egypt Hosni) Mubarak."

He said successful democracy in Taiwan, India and Japan gave himconfidence that democracy is fit for Asian countries. It should alsoinspire Tibetans that Tibet must also implement full democracy.

He was particularly impressed by Taiwan's rule of law asdemonstrated in the jailing of former President Chen Shui-bian, whomhe called "a good friend of mine, " on conviction of corruptioncharges.

He said he hopes the people of Taiwan will keep their confidenceand courage in the face of a rapidly changing world.

Dalai also hoped that Taiwan will keep upholding such universalvalues as democracy, the rule of law and transparency.

(By Ho Hung-ju and S.C. Chang)