Dharamsala: Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama on Thursday announced his decision to retire from active politics, making way for a “freely elected” leader to succeed him.

At his annual address to Tibetans and the international community delivered here, the Dalai Lama, 75, made his retirement plans amply clear.

"As early as the 1960s, I have repeatedly stressed that Tibetans need a leader elected freely by the Tibetan people to whom I can devote power. Now we have clearly reached the time to put this into effect," he said.
 
The Dalai Lama, who came to India in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule, said, "My desire to devolve authority has nothing to do with a wish to shirk responsibility It is to benefit Tibetans in the long run. It is not because I feel disheartened."

The Nobel Peace Prize winner said he was committed to playing his part in the ‘just cause’ of Tibet. He hoped that gradually people will come to understand his intention and accordingly let his decision take effect.

The Dalai Lama had earlier given hints about stepping down as the political head of the Tibetan movement.

(Agencies)