Dharamsala: Tibetan Parliament in exile on Friday agreed to amend its Charter to grant Dalai Lama’s wish to give up his political duties but proposed that he should continue as the 'symbolic head' of the exiled government.

A fortnight after the Dalai Lama’s desire to give up his political duties, the Tibetan
Parliament in Exile on the last day of its Budget session on Friday passed four resolutions to give its formal approval to his wish to quit as the political head of the community.

The Tibetan Parliament in Exile also resolved to prepare the ground map for the transition of power from the spiritual leader to democratically elected representative.

Prime Minister of the Tibetan government in exile Samthong Rimpoche told the Tibetan Parliament here that the House has agreed to the desire of the spiritual leader for an
amendment in the Tibetan Charter (Constitution) to relieve him of his political duties.

"The charter shall be amended accordingly. And for that an amendment committee shall be constituted shortly," he said, that the Chairman of the present (14th) Parliament has been
authorized to choose this committee.

He said, "The Parliament will meet in a specially convened session by the end of May this year, (before the 15th Parliament takes over), to approve the amendments."

The amendment committee shall give the report by April 11 and then the cabinet shall discuss it with the Dalai Lama, said MP Dhawa Tsering.

Earlier, the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile discussed the report of the three-member committee which proposed amendments to the Tibetan Charter to devolve political and administrative
powers of the Dalai Lama to the elected leadership of Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile.

The committee proposed that a new clause should be added to the Tibetan Charter to give a new designation to the Dalai Lama in which he continues as a symbolic head of the Tibetan
Government-in-Exile.

The Tibetan Parliament has accepted the Dalai Lama's wish about a fortnight after the Tibetan spiritual leader, who has been carrying on a six-decade-long struggle for freedom of
Tibetan Buddhists, announced his decision here to retire as political head of Tibetan government-in-exile and to hand over his "formal authority" to a "freely-elected" leader.

At the time of announcing his decision to quit as political head, the 75-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader, had however, made it clear that he was committed to playing his
part for the "just cause" of Tibet.

Making the announcement in his speech on the 52nd anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising Day here on March 10, the Nobel Peace Laureate had said, "As early as the 1960s, I have repeatedly stressed that Tibetans need a leader, elected freely by the Tibetan people, to whom I can devolve power."

As per the resolutions passed by Tibetan Parliament on Friday, a new committee consisting of members of the cabinet and Parliament would discuss threadbare the changes to be made in the Charter to facilitate the transition of power from the Dalai Lama to an elected representative and submit its report before April 11.

A general House of Tibetan Diaspora consisting of members of Parliament, Heads of Tibetan Institutions, representatives in other countries and other heads would be convened to hold further discussions on the report of the committee on transfer of political responsibilities and a special session of present Tibetan Parliament would be convened in the third week of May to give final approval to the amendments to be made in the Charter.

The result of elections of Prime minister and new Parliament would be declared on April 27 but the term of the present Parliament would expire in June and the purpose of convening a special session of present Parliament was to hand over the political responsibilities to the new government, Kelon Tripa (Prime Minister) Samdhong Rinpoche said while
talking to mediapersons.

After the Dalai Lama reiterated his decision to give up any political role in the Tibetan exile government, the Parliament appointed a committee of three members - Rinpoche, Deputy Speaker Dolma Gyari and member Lhamo Kyap - to draft recommendations for the smooth transition of the Dalai Lama’s authority to the new elected leadership.

Samdhong Rinpoche committee submitted its report on March 23 and it was read by Rimpoche yesterday and after discussing the report, the Parliament chartered the path for
relieving the 75-year old Nobel Laureate to quit as political head.

The Rimpoche committee had recommended handing over much of the Dalai Lama's power and responsibility to the Kalon Tripa.

The Chief Justice Commissioner, the Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament, and the members of the Parliament could also be delegated more power and responsibilities.

The oath of office to Prime minister which was administered by Dalai Lama would be administered by The Chief Justice Commissioner and other functions of Dalai Lama would
be entrusted to Prime minister and the Parliament.

According to Article 19 of the Tibetan charter, the Dalai Lama is vested with the chief executive powers of the Tibetan Administration.

There are 39 other clauses in the charter outlining the power and the responsibilities of the Dalai Lama.

 

(Agencies)