ov. 30 (ICT Blog/by Bhuchung K. Tsering): The Dalai Lama’s latest media statement on retirement has to be understood in the context of his description of the historical responsibility of the institution and how it has changed in recent years.
Historically, the Dalai Lamas have been both the spiritual and temporal leader of Tibet. While the temporal leadership was limited to the Tibetan people, the spiritual authority expands to almost all followers of Tibetan Buddhism including the Tibetans, the Buddhists along the Himalayan region, as well as the Buddhists in Mongolia and the Russian Buddhist republics.
Above all, the statement will have implication on how the Chinese leadership perceives the Dalai Lama. His voluntary relinquishing of all formal political authority will be a challenge to any political agenda they may have about the institution.
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