Dharamshala: As the Dalai Lama announced
his intention to retire from active politics, the Tibetan
government-in-exile today said the spiritual leader`s decision
could undermine its legitimacy and indicated that the
transition process cannot take place immediately.
Prime Minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile
Samdhong Rinpoche said the Dalai Lama wants to completely
retire from politics as he feels that "political leadership
should not be confined to one person and individual".
Addressing a press conference minutes after the Dalai
Lama delivered his annual address on the occasion of 52nd
Tibetan Uprising Day, Rinpoche said, "Legitimacy would be the
biggest issue before us if His Holiness` desires are
fulfilled. He is the face and the Tibetan government and after
that we may have any legitimacy in the eyes of the people."
According to him, the political transition which the
Dalai Lama wants is unlikely to happen immediately.
"Despite His Holiness` request, the Tibetans and the
government-in-exile do not feel competent to lead ourselves
independently without him. It is a very long and difficult
process. We have to think in an innovative manner to solve the
issue... We don`t have readymade solutions to this issue," he
told the press conference, which had a considerable presence
from the international media.
He said the spiritual leader is the political and
executive head of the Tibetan government-in-exile and every
decision taken by it has to be approved by him. If the Dalai
Lama`s steps down, the political head of the government would
be the Kashag, the prime minister or the head of the cabinet.
To a specific question, Rinpoche said the Tibetan
parliament-in-exile would have to find an innovative way to
"accommodate" the aspirations of the Tibetan people and the
desire of the Dalai Lama.
"It appears that the resolution of the His Holiness
will not be passed. In that case there will be a deadlock. We
are urging the Legislative to find a wise way so that people`s
aspirations are also met... But the issue cannot be solved in
a day or two," he said.
He also said the government-in-exile has to find a way
to keep the dialogue process with China on and admitted that
the Dalai Lama`s decision would affect the talk process to
resolve the vexed Tibet issue.
Rinpoche said the Dalai Lama will continue to be the
spiritual leader as it does not come by appointment or by
election. "It is all self-evident and it would not change."
To a specific query, he said a few "aggressive" youths
who protest against the Chinese government does not represent
the youth of Tibet. "Tibetan youth believe in non-violence. A
few youths may be aggressive but they are not violent," he