Tibetans forced to face prospect of life after Dalai Lama
THE Dalai Lama’s decision to retire as political head of the Tibetan government-in-exile has forced his followers to confront the prospect of life after the death of the global figurehead. Tashi Dolma, 21, a college student at an anti-China ‘ ‘ Free Tibet’’ demonstration in New Delhi, said he thought the move was part of a long-term plan for democracy and new leadership.
‘‘ Being a youngster, I feel that it is the right time for the Dalai Lama to retire,’’ he said. ‘‘ He has a long-term vision and it is for the young now to take the responsibility and take the movement ahead.’’
Tenzin Dhondup, a 32-year-old filmmaker, called it a ‘‘ wake-up call to all Tibetans’’ that the man considered both a god and a king by his followers would not live forever.
‘‘ We want him to stay on forever, but practically speaking possible,’’ he said.
‘‘ Some day or other, someone has to step into his shoes. We are being given more responsibility for our nation.’’
The 75-year-old spiritual leader fled to India from his homeland more than 50 years ago and has since successfully built up a movement in exile and kept attention focused on Chinese rule in Tibet.