Dharamsala (AsiaNews) - The Tibetan Parliament in exile almost unanimously yesterday asked the Dalai Lama to reconsider his decision to abandon his role as political leader of Tibetans. Samdhong Rinpoche, prime minister of the government in exile, in an exclusive interview with AsiaNews, explains the significance of the decision.
On March 10 the Dalai Lama announced his decision to give up his political role, wanting to be alone spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists. On 14 March, he referred the matter to Parliament in exile, which has to amend the constitution to remove the Dalai Lama’s role of political leader and increase Parliament’s powers as well as those of the government in exile. Among the reasons for the Dalai Lama’s decision, is the desire to promote dialogue with Beijing, which accuses him of being a separatist terrorist and refuses to talk to him, and his desire that Tibets leaders are chosen by democratic vote.
Rinpoche told AsiaNews that the Parliament's decision will now be presented to the Dalai Lama. "The Tibetan Parliament - he says - is attentive to the will of the people and the people do not want to lose the leadership of the Dalai Lama. We consider it very important. "The Question of Tibet and the Dalai Lama have become almost synonymous, he is the face of the Tibetan movement, and it will take a really long time to build a new image or a new face. I understand that for every new beginning there are many obstacles, but the Tibetan government will not accept the resignation of the Dalai Lama. "
Many now wonder what the Dalai Lama will do. Yesterday, speaking at a press conference, he already confirmed that he has decided to leave his political role, despite the Parliament's request.
"We need to see - confirmation Rinpoche - if His Holiness the Dalai Lama will consider the request of Parliament." "-I do not think that it will go against the tenets of Tibetan Buddhism . He will not be giving up the 'renunciation' on the contrary -it will only be this is respecting the desires of the people".
When asked if this waiver can be interpreted as confirmation of some of the accusations of the Chinese government, which considers him a terrorist, Rinpoche replies that "we do not care about what China says, or what it does, they say anything."
"To AsiaNews readers we say, try to understand the difficulties of the Tibetan people, they should understand the predicament of the Tibetan people, and the Tibetan people are troubled and disturbed about the decision. Be sympathetic [to us] and the Tibetan cause. "
Yesterday thousands of Tibetans took part in the cremation of Monk Phuntsok (pictured), from the Kirti Monastery in Ngaba County (Sichuan), who set himself on fire March 16 in protest against Chinese repression and occupation. The Chinese authorities returned the body to his family on March 17 in the afternoon and ordered he be cremated within the next day. The body, carried by a vehicle, was followed by thousands of monks, nuns and Tibetans, guarded by armed soldiers.