The Last Gift of the God-King: Narrating the Dalai Lama’s Resignation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


On the 19th March 2011, His Holiness the 14th Dalai announced his retirement from office as the political leader of the Tibetan cause and the separation of the Ganden Podrang estate (the religious ‘house’ of the Dalai Lamas' reincarnations) from the governance of Tibetans in line with democratic principles that His Holiness has asserted since first entering exile from Tibet in 1959. His Holiness' departure from office required a substantial rewriting of the Tibetan Charter, the constitution of all exiled Tibetans. This article, based on extensive interviews with members of the Charter Redrafting committee as well as the two Tibetan prime ministers that oversaw the change, examines the challenges faced in writing the new constitution, finding a way to speak of the Dalai Lama's on-going influence, of secularisation with Buddhist characteristics, and of a distinctively Tibetan understanding of exiled democracy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTibetan Subjectivities on the Global Stage
Subtitle of host publicationNegotiating Dispossession
EditorsShelly Bhoil, Enrique Galvan-Alvarez
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherLexington Books
ISBN (Electronic)9781498552394
ISBN (Print)9781498552387
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

Publication series

NameStudies in Modern Tibetan Culture
PublisherLexington Books


  • Dalai Lama
  • democracy
  • Tibet
  • refugee
  • political concepts


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