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Dalai Lama hints successor won't have any political role

September 12, 2012 20:07 IST
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Wednesday hinted his successor would don the role of only a religious leader for Tibetans and not a political one. He expressed satisfaction at handing over "legitimate authority" to elected leaders of the community in-exile.

The Dalai Lama had till last year held the dual position of the political and spiritual head of the Tibetans before he transferred all powers to the "prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile".

Delivering a talk on 'Non-violence and ethical values' at the Jamia Miliia Islamia in New Delhi, the Tibetan spiritual leader, he said he fought for four decades to give shape to his dream of shedding the political authority and was finally "proud and happy" that he handed over legitimate authority to elected representatives.

"I am in a semi-retirement position. Every community is mature enough to chose their own leaders. I changed a tradition which has been there for four centuries. What was started by the 5th Dalai Lama was ended by the 14th Dalai Lama i.e. me. I am happy and proud," he said.

The Dalai Lamas have always been the political and spiritual head of the Tibetan people. He denounced violence as an instrument to solve any vexed issue, be it the Tibetan problem, the Jammu and Kashmir issue or any problem in the northeast of the country.

In his 90-minute speech-cum-interaction with students and others, the Dalai Lama lamented that the Myanmar government was not even listening to his views on the violence against Muslims in that country and said his efforts to get in touch with pro-democracy icon Aung Sang Suu Kyi also failed.

To a question, the Dalai Lama said he was a "Buddhist Marxist" when it came to socio-economic theory as he grew up reading Marxism and socialism. "I am wiser than materialistic Marxists," he quipped, sending the auditorium into peals of laughter.

The Dalai Lama, while suggesting that violence is not acceptable to resolve an issue, also blamed the people in power for not "properly balancing" the issues either because of "too much attachment" or due to anger.

In this context, he also referred to the "negative feelings" among Chinese officials accusing them of not caring about human rights.

On Myanmar, he said he was never allowed to visit that Buddhist-majority country and said in a lighter vein even Christian and Muslim countries allow him easily.

"We wrote a letter to Suu Kyi regarding the violence but we got no reply. My representative in Delhi even met the Burmese Ambassador here but it has been four weeks and we have not heard from them. There is no channel for us to approach," the Dalai Lama said.

Terming the 20th century as one of "bloodshed", the spiritual leader said all countries should strive towards making the 21st century one that stresses on dialogue.

"Dialogue should be the only method of resolution of problems," he said and asked the countries to concentrate on issues like climate change.

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