Putting to rest speculation about his future, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said on Sunday he would remain committed to the cause of Tibet till death and sought India’s help in resolving the issue, saying the government was being overcautious.
The Tibetan spiritual leader said it was his moral responsibility to remain committed to the Tibetan cause. “There is no question of my retirement. I’m a Tibetan. I’ll stand for the cause till I die,” the 73-year-old leader said.
“Once all Tibetans return to Tibet, I’ll hand over authority to others,” said the Dalai Lama, who favours greater autonomy for Tibet. He was speaking at a press conference a day after a six-day conclave of Tibetan exiles called by him to discuss the course of the movement ended.
He chose to remain silent on the conclave’s suggestion that Tibetans might have to rethink his “Middle Way” approach and seek independence in case the talks with Beijing fail. He said the policy options on China would be considered after a meeting of Tibet’s international supporters. “No comments, wait for a month,” he said.
Seeking India’s support, he said better relations between India and China could prove significant in resolving the issue. While appreciating India’s support, he said of late India had adopted overcautious approach.
Under pressure to name his successor in his life time, the Dalai Lama said the issue was open and his successor could either be a boy or a girl.
“Women are more compassionate and have better sense of responsibility,” he said. It was for the Tibetans to decide the future of the institution. “I may be the last Dalai Lama,” he said.
His successor could be democratically elected or selected from among the monks. He hinted that the responsibility could be handed over to the 24-year-old Ogyen Trinley Dorje, 17th Karmapa, who has a considerable following among Han Chinese.