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08:28 Mar 25 2011

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Chinese Tibetologist doubts if Dalai Lama can really 'retire'
08:28, March 25, 2011  

A Chinese Tibetologist Wednesday expressed the doubt if the 14th Dalai Lama can really "retire" from his political role like what he had openly claimed.

"It is natural for the 76-year-old man to retire from work but I do not understand from what position the Dalai Lama will retire and how he will do to realize it," Prof. Du Yongbin, with the China Tibetology Research Center, told a group of journalists at a seminar organized by the All-China Journalists Association,

The 14th Dalai Lama has a dual identity, both political and religious, but he does not hold any official position at the so-called Tibetan "government-in-exile", Du said.

"And by no means he will retire from being the Dalai Lama," he added.

The Dalai Lama announced in mid March that he would give up his political role in the Tibetan "government-in-exile" and shift that power to an "elected leader."

His claim soon was shrugged off in China as a "trick" and "political show" with attempts to arouse the attention of the international community and mould public opinion.

"Judging from his announcement, we can easily observe that in the past years the Dalai Lama and his followers had followed the old theocratic way despite claimed efforts to transform their group into a secular and democratic one," he said.

"His resign announcement can be regarded as an attempt to give up his political role but I doubt if it will be easily realized," Du said.

Du said he would not rush to make the conclusion but would follow the future development.

When asked what would happen if the aging Dalai Lama passes away, Du noted that the Tibet issue would not have a quick solution with or without the 14th Dalai Lama.

"For so many years, all related sides have been working to find a solution to the Tibet issue while the Dalai Lama is alive. And they have not got one," he said. "I don't think they would easily find one after he passes away."

The Dalai Lama's claim to build a "greater Tibet" is a major obstacle because the Chinese people, including Tibetans, do not agree with it, Du said.

From: Xinhua

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