Dalai Lama says Tibetan people should decide on his succession

Source: Reuters

By Sunil Kataria | TAWANG, INDIA

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said on Saturday the Tibetan people should decide if they wanted to continue with his institution, adding that he wanted to convene a meeting of senior monks this year to start discussing his succession.

China, which brands the Nobel Peace laureate a dangerous separatist, says the tradition must continue and its officially atheist Communist leaders have the right to approve the Dalai Lama’s successor, as a legacy inherited from China’s emperors.

“Whether this very institution of Dalai Lama should continue or not is up to Tibetan people,” the Dalai Lama told a news conference in the remote hill town of Tawang near the Chinese border in India’s northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh.

“So, consult people, if people feel now this institution (is) no longer relevant then this institution (will) automatically cease,” the 82-year-old said, adding he wanted to start this year “some sort of preliminary discussion” on his succession.

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