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Tibet Exile MPs Debate Dalai Lama Retirement


Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama reacts during a religious talk at the Tsuglakhang temple in Dharmsala, India, March 15, 2011

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama reacts during a religious talk at the Tsuglakhang temple in Dharmsala, India, March 15, 2011

The Tibetan parliament-in-exile is debating whether to accept the Dalai Lama's resignation as its political leader.

Tibet's exiled lawmakers opened debate Tuesday in the northern Indian town of Dharamsala, where the Tibetan government-in-exile is based. Several members addressed the assembly, urging it to reject the Dalai Lama's request.

It is unclear whether the parliament ultimately will accept the Dalai Lama's retirement. It has rejected the leader's past requests, arguing that there is no replacement of equal stature.

On Monday, the 75-year-old Nobel Peace laureate sent a letter to the parliament pleading with it to accept his resignation. He said it was important to preserve continuity in the Tibetan movement while he is still alive and healthy.

The Dalai Lama, who wants autonomy for Tibet within China, has spearheaded the cause of exiled Tibetans since he fled his homeland more than half a century ago.

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