Tibetans and supporters welcomed His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the hotel in Geneva Thursday morning with auspicious offerings. The visit's main program is to inaugurate and consecrate the newly constructed Tibetan Buddhist Centre - Sherdurb Choekorling at Mont Saléve, France Friday morning, according to a report of the office of Tibet Bureau - Geneva.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama spoke about his decision to devolve his formal authority to the elected Tibetan leadership for the long-term benefit of the Tibetan people in a short interview with "TSR" Swiss TV French language channel. He also thanked the people and government of Switzerland for providing refuge to over 4000 Tibetan refugees.
His Holiness said that after coming to India as a refugee in 1959, he began the democratization process. From 2001 "we already achieved elected political leadership, since then my position was semi-retirement, 10 years already had passed, now it must be complete retirement."
His Holiness added that he was always for Tibet's reform and impressed with the democratic system from the early 1950s. "Democracy is the best system to govern people."
"The world belongs to nearly seven billion human beings of the world and not to kings or religious heads, and not to a few Lamas." "Similarly, each and every county belongs to the people, likewise Tibet also belongs to the Tibetan people," His Holiness told "TSR".
While addressing the leaders, the 76-year old Buddhist leader extended his greetings to the Tibetan community in Switzerland. He said that Switzerland is the first Tibetan settlement (outside India). His Holiness complimented the Tibetans in Switzerland for their dedication to the Tibetan issue as well as integration into the Swiss Community.
His Holiness told the "TSR" channel that newly elected political leader "Lobsang Sangay is thoroughly educated, and Tibetan community has chosen the right person. I really feel now is the right time for the elected leadership to carry full responsibility."
The Nobel Peace Laureate said that he has full conviction that Tibetans can carry all their responsibilities. "Therefore I voluntarily and proudly decided that this four-century-old tradition should end, However, the Dalai Lama institution will remain as a spiritual role," he added.
On arrival in Zurich airport from the Indian capital New Delhi, Mr. Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dr. T.V. Nagendra Prasad, Counsellor from Indian Embassy and Mr. Raefel Gimalov, member of the Russian Parliament and a businessman host of the visit along with Abbot of Tibetan Institute Rikon, Presidents of the Tibetan Community in Switzerland and Liechtenstein and Tibetan Women Association, representatives from the Tibetan Youth Association in Europe and Swiss Tibetan Friendship Association welcomed His Holiness the Dalai Lama.