Without Dalai Lama, Tibetans wont recognise govt

Dharamshala: As the Dalai Lama announced his intention to retire from active politics, the Tibetan government-in-exile on Thursday 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 ready made 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 said.