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THE Dalai Lama says he will resign as leader of Tibet's exiles if unrest in his Himalayan homeland worsens.
The Buddhist leader, speaking in the northern Indian town of Dharamshala where his exiled government is based, said today he was opposed to the violence that erupted in Tibet last week.
The unrest saw Chinese shops and banks torched and smashed.
Originally posted by ColdWater
Can the Dali Lama resign?
Isn't that kinda like the Pope saying he's going to retire early.
Or Jesus telling God he'd rather do the carpentry thing instead.
Originally posted by chromatico
reply to post by SilentShadow
The Dalai Lama is a reincarnation of Buddha. He is BORN into the office. He can't quit!
The crux of the answer is that the Dalai Lama has two roles - religious and political - and he can only resign from one of them.
When he was a boy of three, Lhamo Thondup was "discovered" by a special search party to be the new Dalai Lama, and taken to the Tibetan capital, Lhasa.
He was given a new name, Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso, and installed as the new Dalai Lama at the Potala Palace in 1940.
And, according to Tibetan tradition, he will remain the Dalai Lama until he dies, with it being impossible for him lose or give up the position in any other way.
What he has threatened is that, if Tibetans turn to violence, it would be impossible for him to be the political head of their movement and he would have to resign.
He has made this threat before. Tibet's government-in-exile in India has in recent years become more democratic in the picking of its cabinet and other key leaders. But the Dalai Lama retains overall leadership, much in the manner of a lifelong head of state. Resigning from this position would represent a major statement.
His Holiness has already publicly discussed the possibility that he will be the last Dalai Lama. It is also possible he will choose and enthrone the next Dalai Lama while he is still alive. This would prevent the Chinese government from choosing the 15th Dalai Lama, as they did with the Panchen Lama.
Tourists arriving today in Kathmandu from Lhasa said rampaging Tibetan youths stoned and beat Chinese people and torched stores, but that the situation there was now calm following a major Chinese security clampdown.