His Holiness the Dalai Lama Clarifies Statement on Retirement

Dharamshala: "More than 99 per cent of Tibetans in and outside Tibet trust me, so I have the moral responsibility to serve them. My call for complete retirement does not mean that I will forget the Tibetan struggle. I am a Tibetan and every Tibetan has the moral obligation to carry out our own struggle," His Holiness told reporters in Kalimpong yesterday. (watch video)
His Holiness said some Tibetans living inside Tibet express anxiety and confusion over his retirement plans. "I want to hand over the ceremonial role such as signing of legislatures and documents to the democratically elected leadership. But some Tibetans inside Tibetan are anxious and confused that the Dalai Lama is now no longer interested about the Tibetan struggle. No, it is not," he said.

He reiterated that efforts to resolve the issue of Tibet would remain one of his three commitments.

He spoke about his efforts to bring democratic reforms in Tibet before 1959 and later in exile.

Since my childhood I always admire the system of democracy. In 1952, I started reform committee and some reforms were carried out. Then after 1959 while in exile we had set up own organisation set up as the Central Tibetan Administration. We started the process of democratisation and put in place elected political leadership in 2001.

"I always tell the elected Tibetan leadership to take full responsibility as if there is no Dalai Lama and they are doing it," he said.

(Based on report filed by Sheja Editor Kelsang Khudup from Kalimpong)

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