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Dalai Lama outlines power shift

DHARMSALA, India – The Dalai Lama said today that he will be giving up his political role in Tibet’s government-in-exile, shifting that power to an elected representative.

The Tibetan spiritual leader, speaking on the anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule in the Himalayan region, said the time has come “to devolve my formal authority to the elected leader.”

He has long insisted that he wants the exile government, based in this Indian hill town, to have more power, and has previously said he wants to give up his political roles. Today, though, he laid down a timeline, saying he would propose amendments to the exile constitution during the exile parliament’s next session, which begins later this month.

Just how much change will come, though, is highly unclear. While the elected parliament officially wields great power in the exile community, the Dalai Lama’s status means he overshadows everyone else.

The 76-year-old Dalai Lama remains deeply revered by most Tibetans despite Beijing’s decades-long campaign to undermine his influence.


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