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15march2011parliamentDharamshala: Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama has urged the Tibetan parliament to consider basing the exile government policy on a "secular republic," said Mr. Penpa Tsering, the speaker of the Tibetan Parliament in exile on Tuesday. "The political leadership should be elected and the Tibetan policy should be based on a secular republic, to do that, His Holiness has asked the Parliament to have a look on the Charter and other rules of regulation," the speaker told reporters.

The 75-year-old Nobel peace laureate, His Holiness the Dalai Lama formally submitted his decision to the parliament on Monday, following by an official announcement on March 10, the 52nd anniversary of the Tibetan national uprising. "The exile parliament has three options, the matter is to figure in the session on Tuesday," Tsering told reporters during a press conference which held at the Parliament House based in Dharamshala, India.

"His Holiness thinks that it is time to complete democratization of the society that the governance of a nation should not be dependent on one person. The rule of one person is completely outdated and we should go on with the modern terms of democracy that considered regency which is refereed to in the Charter written in 1991 is not necessarily connected with the responsibility of His Holiness, that has to be reviewed," said Tsering.

The parliament speaker also said that his parliament has three options before it while deciding on the issue of Tibet leader's wish to retirement from complete political authority. "The first possibility is that we would again request His Holiness that we don't want any changes and His Holiness should continue to take political responsibilities. If most of the members say that we don't want any changes, then this will have to be conveyed to His Holiness and what he will say after that will be depended on when we inform him about these developments," said the speaker during the budget session which would continue till March 25.

In his latest message to exile Tibetan parliament, His Holiness said "On the contrary, I wish to devolve authority solely for the benefit of the Tibetan people in the long run. It is extremely important that we ensure the continuity of our exile Tibetan administration and our struggle until the issue of Tibet has been successfully resolved. If we have to remain in exile for several more decades, a time will inevitably come when I will no longer be able to provide leadership. Therefore, it is necessary that we establish a sound system of governance while I remain able and healthy, in order that the exile Tibetan administration can become self-reliant rather than being dependent on the Dalai Lama."

'Second possibility would be to accept the suggestion of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and make changes accordingly. If members say that we agree with His Holiness the Dalai Lama's proposal, then separate committees would have to be formed. Then there would be a long process, something that cannot be done within the period of this house because the 14th parliament is also coming to an end by May and new parliament and cabinet would come into being by June. So the responsibility of carrying forward in terms of the implementation of His Holiness' message would lie on the new and upcoming 15th Parliament," Tsering continued.

"The third possibility is to try to find a middle-way wherein the elected representatives can take responsibility for executive affairs with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in charge of the political leadership. If suggestions from majority of the members opt the middle-way asking His Holiness to continue the political leadership, then committees will have to be formed to make necessary amendments in the Charter and other regulations," Tsering further added.

Responding to reporters' questions, the speaker prefaced his comment about outcome of the parliament decision by saying, "I cannot comment exactly about what would be the outcome which you will know only after tomorrow's deliberations."

However the Tibetan Cabinet on Tuesday accepted His Holiness the Dalai Lama's decision to retire as the political leader of the Tibetan government. Speaking in the House, Prime Minister of the Tibetan government in exile, Professor Samdhong Rinpoche said, "With a heavy heart, we have to accept His Holiness' decision of retirement as political head of the state".

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the spiritual and political leader of Tibet and Tibetan people, Tibetan government in exile is the only legitimate government as it has been representing the six million people from the three traditional provinces of Tibet for hundreds of years. Around 100,000 Tibetan refugees now live in India, Bhutan and Nepal and over six million Tibetans live in Chinese occupied Tibet.

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