The Dalai Lama has announced his plan to retire as political head of the exiled Tibetan movement, saying the time had come for his replacement by a "freely elected" leader.
The Dalai Lama, whose more significant role is that of the movement's spiritual leader, said he would seek an amendment allowing him to resign his political responsibilities at the next session of the exiled Tibetan parliament in March.
"My desire to devolve authority has nothing to do with a wish to shirk responsibility," he said in an address in Dharamshala, the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile in northern India.
"It is to benefit Tibetans in the long run. It is not because I feel disheartened," he added.