The Dalai Lama has announced his plan to retire as political head of the exiled Tibetan movement, saying that the time had come for his replacement by a "freely elected" leader.
The Dalai Lama, whose more significant role is as the movement's spiritual leader, said that he would seek an amendment allowing him to resign his political office when the exiled Tibetan parliament meets next week.
"My desire to devolve authority has nothing to do with a wish to shirk responsibility," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted the Dalai Lama, as saying in an address in Dharamshala.
"It is to benefit Tibetans in the long run. It is not because I feel disheartened," he added.
The Dalai Lama also said that many of his supporters had asked him not to take the step.
"Since I made my intention clear I have received repeated and earnest requests both from within Tibet and outside, to continue to provide political leadership," the Dalai Lama.
The assembly is expected to approve his request and vote to elect a new 'Kalon Tripa' or Prime Minister who will, depending on the constitutional changes, take on the Dalai Lama's political functions. (ANI)