DHARAMSALA, India (Reuters) - The Dalai Lama announced Thursday that he was stepping down as political leader of the Tibetan government in exile.
"As early as the 1960s, I have repeatedly stressed that Tibetans need a leader, elected freely by the Tibetan people, to whom I can devolve power," the Dalai Lama said in a prepared speech. "Now, we have clearly reached the time to put this into effect."
The Dalai Lama has long seen himself as "semi-retired" from political leadership with an elected prime minister already in place in the northern Indian town of Dharamsala. He remains Tibet's spiritual leader.
(Reporting by Alistair Scrutton)