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Despite Dalai Lama's rebuff, Tibetan deputies urge him to stay on

2011/03/18 23:26:23

Dharamsala, March 18 (CNA) The Assembly of Tibetan People'sDeputies on Friday approved a resolution by a 33-1 margin to advisethe Dalai Lama to continue to serve as the political and spiritualleader of the government-in-exile.

Speaker Penpa Tsering said the assembly will send the resolutionto the Dalai Lama's office, and if the Dalai Lama asks to holdconsultations on the matter, it will "enter into the next round ofdiscussions."

The Assembly of Tibetan People's Deputies on Friday continued todebate four proposals worked out in a closed-door meeting Thursdayrelated to the Dalai Lama's announcement that he would quit politics.

Penpa Tsering said the assembly passed three resolutions afterFriday's meeting, among them one expressing the hope that the DalaiLama would continue to serve as the political and spiritual leader ofthe government-in-exile.

The assembly also resolved that Tibet was now walking toward ademocracy that met the needs of the Tibetan people and that the DalaiLama had pursued over the past five decades.

The other successful resolution said that Tibetan citizens hadyet to live up to the expectations of the Dalai Lama and would workharder to meet them and shoulder responsibility.

The second and third resolutions were passed unanimously by all34 parliamentarians except for the speaker and the deputy speaker,who are not allowed to vote according to procedure.

A fourth resolution, to form a special task force to revise thegovernment-in-exile's charter and related laws, was rejected by a21-13 vote.

On the key issue of the Dalai Lama's future, a parliamentarianwho spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of theissue said the resolution asking the Dalai Lama to stay on was boundto be rejected after it was sent to his office.

The Dalai Lama announced on March 10 that he would 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 75-year-old Nobel Peace Prize laureate reaffirmed hisdecision to quit Thursday, saying that he would give a definite "no"to a majority of Tibetan parliamentarians' request that he stay on tolead the government-in-exile.

(By He Horn-Ju and Lilian Wu)