The Syracuse Buddhist community has been watching developments since the announcement by the Dalai Lama of his planned retirement as the political leader of the Tibetan people in exile with interest. For decades the Dalai Lama has been looked upon as both the political and spiritual leader of the free Tibet movement. Now, however, there has been confusion here about what this all means after it has been reported that the Tibetan parliament has rejected the Dalai Lama’s retirement plan.
Lobsang Wangyal has reported for the Tibet Sun “Tibetan MPs reject Dalai Lama’s retirement plan”, http://bit.ly/fGAti2. The proposal by the Dalai Lama to relinquish his political role was overwhelmingly rejected by the members of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, a day after the Tibetan leader formally conveyed his his decision to the body. However, to add even more confusion to where this will all lead for Buddhists here in Syracuse who are monitoring these events the Prime Minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile Samdhong Rinpoche said at the beginning of the second day of the session that he and his colleagues in the Cabinet have decided to accept the Dalai Lama’s proposal to retire.
Tibetans in exile will go to the polls on 20 March to elect a new prime minister and members of the 15th Parliament. At this time Lobsang Sangay, 42, who is a research fellow at the Harvard Law School, is the favourite candidate for the post of the prime minister. Thus far he has come out on top in the preliminary round of elections, securing more than double the votes of his nearest contender Tenzin Namgyal Tethong.
Meanwhile a two-member team which represents Mundgod Tibetan settlement in South India has expressed their disapproval of the Dalai Lama’s resignation. They have said “The time has not come yet for the Dalai Lama to withdraw from a political role. His Holiness resignation will harm the unity of the Tibetan people. The Tibetan movement will lose its strength.” But the Dalai Lama has said “My intention to devolve political authority derives neither from a wish to shirk responsibility, nor because I am disheartened. On the contrary, I wish to devolve authority solely for the benefit of the Tibetan people in the long run. It’s extremely important that we ensure the continuity of our exiled Tibetan administration and of our struggle, until the issue of Tibet has been successfully resolved.”
With deep respect for the desire of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to now devote all of his energies as the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people as he plans to leave his political role behind him the Buddhists here in Syracuse wish him well. They will continue to be looking towards His Holiness the Dalai Lama for spiritual guidance.
Mandel News Service: http://www.mandelnews.com