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    Dalai Lama Declines to be Symbolic Tibetan Head of State

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    NTDTelevision

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    The Dalai Lama has refused an offer to be the ceremonial head of the Tibetan government-in-exile. Earlier this year he resigned his position as the political leader of the government-in-exile.

    The Dalai Lama declined an offer to remain as the Tibetan government-in-exile's symbolic head of the Tibetan people.

    He made his wish known after addressing members of the Tibetan parliament-in-exile and fellow monks who had gathered at their home-in-exile in northern India.

    [Karma Chophel, Tibetan Parliamentarian]:
    "If possible, the meeting said, that he should hold the position of a symbolic head of state of the Tibetan people. Of course he did not accept that. And the second option was that he should be a symbol of the faith and respect and unity of the Tibetan people. And although he will be fully retired, whenever it is needed for the Tibetan people, he should continue to give advices and encouragement. So that (one) he (has) accepted."

    In March, the Dalai Lama sent a letter to the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile saying that he wanted to delegate his political powers.

    China has ruled Tibet since communist troops marched in to the Himalayan region in 1950.

    An estimated 80,000 Tibetans, along with the Dalai Lama, arrived in India in 1959.