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Dalai Lama formally gives up his political role

The 73-year-old has ceded his political and administrative powers over the exiled Tibetan community to the newly elected Prime Minister but will stay on as the Tibetan spiritual leader.

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
Image: Ashwini Bhatia/AP/Press Association Images

THE DALAI LAMA has officially stepped down from his role as the political leader of Tibet, although he will remain on as a spiritual leader.

The Dalai Lama’s former powers will now be passed onto the community’s elected leadership and judiciary, CNN reports. The changes were approved over a three-day sitting of parliament in Dharamsala, India, said a spokesman for the exiled Tibetan government.

Last March, the 73-year-old told the parliament: ”The essence of a democratic system is, in short, the assumption of political responsibility by elected leaders for the popular good. In order for our process of democratization to be complete, the time has come for me to devolve my formal authority to such an elected leadership.”

In April, Tibetan exiles elected Harvard scholar Lobsang Sangay as their prime minister.

The Dalai Lama will now spend his time “working more to promote human values and work for better inter-religious understanding,” spokesman, Tempa Tsering, told AFP.

Read more: The Dalai Lama in his own words and pictures >

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