Keep mentor's role, Tibet House pleads with Dalai

In a unanimous resolution on Friday, it asked the Tibetan Buddhist leader to reconsider his decision to retire. After days of brainstorming, Parliament decided finally that the 14th Dalai Lama should not relinquish his role as political mentor.

In case the Dalai Lama remains firm in his decision to quit, a middle-path solution that allows him to shed his administrative and ceremonial responsibilities but continue as the political head has been suggested. Parliament members do not support this proposal as they feel that the movement for autonomous Tibet will suffer a serious setback in the absence of Dalai Lama. They also feel that the face of the Tibetan struggle will be gone if the proposal is accepted.

Parliament elections scheduled for March 20 have also impacted this decision. Many members are seeking a second term and do not want to face the ballot with the heavy baggage of this historical decision which Tibetans are finding hard to digest.

Government-in-exile Prime Minister Samdong Rinpoche told Deccan Herald that the House resolution asking him to relent would be sent to the Dalai Lama for consideration. As the final decision rests with the House, it remains to be seen whether the Dalai Lama surrenders to the collective wisdom of the Parliamentarians or chooses to have his way. In support of its resolution, the House has said it will work more effectively than ever before to strengthen the hands of Dalai Lama, who has spoken of grave challenges ahead for Tibetans after him. The prime minister said the resolution had also argued that the existing democratic system of the Tibetan governance had seldom faltered and a change in its charter was avoidable.

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