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Friday, March 11, 2011

Huge quake, tsunami kill 1,000 in Japan; world offers help

A devastating tsunami triggered by the biggest earthquake on record in Japan killed at least 1,000 people along the northeastern coast on Friday after a wall of water swept away everything in its path.
Thousands of residents were evacuated from an area around a nuclear plant north of Tokyo after fears of a radiation leak, but officials said problems with the reactor's cooling system were not at a critical level.
Underscoring grave concerns about the plant, the US air force delivered coolant to the facility, US secretary of state Hillary Clinton said.
The unfolding disaster in the wake of the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and 10-metre (33-feet) high tsunami prompted offers of help from dozens of countries.
China said rescuers were ready to help with quake relief while President Barack Obama told Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan the United State would assist in any way.
Stunning TV footage showed a muddy torrent of water carrying cars and wrecked homes at high speed across farmland near the coastal city of Sendai, home to one million people and which lies 300 km (180 miles) northeast of Tokyo. Ships had been flung onto a harbour wharf, where they lay helplessly on their side.
Japanese politicians pushed for an emergency budget to fund relief efforts after Kan asked them to "save the country", Kyodo news agency reported. Japan is already the most heavily indebted major economy in the world, meaning any funding efforts would be closely scrutinised by financial markets.
Domestic media said the death toll was expected to exceed 1,000, most of whom appeared to have drowned.
The extent of the destruction along a lengthy stretch of coastline suggested the death toll could rise significantly.
Tsunami warnings were issued across the Pacific but were later lifted for some of the most populated countries in the region, including Australia, Taiwan and New Zealand.
Even in a nation accustomed to earthquakes, the devastation was shocking.
"A big area of Sendai city near the coast, is flooded. We are hearing that people who were evacuated are stranded," said Rie Sugimoto, a reporter for NHK television in Sendai.
"About 140 people, including children, were rushed to an elementary school and are on the rooftop but they are surrounded by water and have nowhere else to go."
The quake, the most powerful since Japan started keeping records 140 years ago, sparked at least 80 fires in cities and towns along the coast, Kyodo said.
Other Japanese nuclear power plants and oil refineries were shut down and one refinery was ablaze. Television footage showed an intense fire in the waterfront area near Sendai. There were also reports that an irrigation dam had broken and swept away houses in Fukushima prefecture.
People sleep in offices in Tokyo
Chief cabinet secretary Edano told people to stay in safe places as the cold deepened into the night. "Please help each other and act calmly," he told a news conference.
In Tokyo, residents who had earlier fled swaying buildings jammed the streets trying to make their way home after much of the city's public transportation was halted.
Many subways in Tokyo later resumed operation but trains did not run. People who decided not to walk home slept in office buildings.
"I was unable stay on my feet because of the violent shaking. The aftershocks gave us no reprieve. Then the tsunamis came when we tried to run for cover. It was the strongest quake I experienced," a woman with a baby on her back told television in northern Japan.
The central bank said it would cut short a two-day policy review scheduled for next week to one day on Monday and promised to do its utmost to ensure financial market stability.
Auto plants, electronics factories and refineries shut, roads buckled and power to millions of homes and businesses was knocked out. Several airports, including Tokyo's Narita, were closed and rail services halted. All ports were shut.
The disaster occurred as the world's third-largest economy had been showing signs of reviving from an economic contraction in the final quarter of last year. The disaster raised the prospect of major disruptions for many key businesses and a massive repair bill of billions of dollars.
The tsunami alerts revived memories of the giant waves which struck Asia in 2004. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued alerts for countries to the west and across the Pacific as far away as Colombia and Peru.

Frightening experience
The earthquake was the fifth most powerful to hit the world in the past century.
TV footage showed boats, cars and trucks tossed around like toys in the water after a small tsunami hit the town of Kamaichi in northern Japan. An overpass, location unknown, appeared to have collapsed and cars were turning around and speeding away.
"The building shook for what seemed a long time and many people in the newsroom grabbed their helmets and some got under their desks," Reuters correspondent Linda Sieg said in Tokyo. "It was probably the worst I have felt since I came to Japan more than 20 years ago."
The quake struck just before the Tokyo stock market closed, pushing the Nikkei down to end at a five-week low. Nikkei futures trading in Osaka tumbled as much as 4.7 percent in reaction to the news.
The quake surpasses the Great Kanto quake of Sept. 1, 1923, which had a magnitude of 7.9 and killed more than 140,000 people in the Tokyo area.
The 1995 Kobe quake caused $100 billion in damage and was the most expensive natural disaster in history. Economic damage from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami was estimated at about $10 billion.
Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world's most seismically active areas. The country accounts for about 20 per cent of the world's earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.

Millions stuck in Tokyo as earthquake shuts down subways

Millions of people in greater Tokyo were stranded far away from home on Friday evening after Japan's biggest earthquake on record shut down the capital's massive subway system.
Countless workers, who had earlier fled violently swaying office blocks, found themselves stuck far from their families -- and unable to speak to them because the overloaded mobile phone system could not carry most calls.
Sirens wailed through Tokyo, television helicopters buzzed overhead and people rushed to the city's ubiquitous 24-hour convenience stores, quickly emptying shelves of bento boxes, sandwiches and instant noodle cups.
"I have no idea how I'll get home," said an 18-year-old woman waiting outside Ginza subway station. She described how ceramics shattered around her in a department store when the huge quake hit mid-afternoon.
"Telephone lines are not working and the subway has completely stopped. I think Tokyo is very fragile right now," said Shintoku Arita, 35.
The government used loudspeaker alerts and TV broadcasts to urge people to stay near their workplaces rather than risk a long walk home, as highways leading out of the city centre were choked and hotels quickly fully booked.
"Please do not try to force your way home when there is no means of transportation, but stay in your offices and other safe places," said an emergency advisory carried by national public broadcaster NHK.
"Night is falling," the NHK newscaster said as chilly darkness fell.
"If long-distance commuters try to cross prefecture borders on foot at night, they may fall victim to secondary accidents."
The greater Tokyo region -- a sprawl that takes in Yokohama and vast suburban areas across the Kanto plain -- is the world's largest urban area, with more than 30 million people, many of whom commute for hours every day.
The spaghetti-like railway grid of the Tokyo Metro System and Japan Railway lines criss-crossing the megacity remained shut down for hours after the 8.9-magnitude monster quake violently shook buildings across the city.
Some lines, including the Ginza line, reopened around 9:00 pm, but others remained shut.
The "shuto kosoku" Tokyo metropolitan expressway was blocked entirely, and parts of the major Tohoku and Chuo expressways were also closed.
Despite the scale of the disaster, Tokyo was spared the worst by the quake, which hit offshore and spawned a tsunami that devastated coastal areas.
Volcano-dotted Japan is located on the "Pacific Ring of Fire", and Tokyo is situated in one of its most dangerous areas.
Seismologists say that the "Big One" -- a huge quake below or near Tokyo, forecast to kill thousands -- is, statistically speaking, long overdue.
The city sits on the intersection of three continental plates -- the Eurasian, Pacific and Philippine Sea plates -- which are slowly grinding against each other, building up enormous seismic pressure.
The government's Earthquake Research Committee warns of a 70 percent chance that a magnitude-eight quake will strike within 30 years in the Kanto plain.
The last "Big One" to hit Tokyo was the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake that claimed over 140,000 lives, many of them in fires that ripped through wooden buildings. In 1855 the Ansei Edo quake also devastated the city.

Pakistan test-fires nuclear-capable missile

Pakistan today test-fired the short-range surface-to-surface nuclear-capable Hatf-II or Abdali ballistic missile that has a range of 180 km.
An official statement said the test was conducted conducted successfully.
The missile can carry both nuclear and conventional warheads, it said.
The test, conducted at an undisclosed location, was witnessed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Chairman Gen Shamim Hyder Wyyne.
President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani felicitated defence scientists and engineers on the success of the test.

£300k for massages gone wrong

Two former beauty therapists have won £300,430 in compensation from Virgin Atlantic after developing repetitive strain injuries while giving frequent massages to first class air passengers.
Jayne Evans and Michelle Hindmarch said they developed pain in their wrists, shoulders and backs after giving lengthy Shiatsu treatments to travellers in the Clubhouse Lounge at Heathrow's Terminal 3.
Most of their clients were men who were always clothed and required heavier hand and finger pressure than massages for women, London's high court heard. The pair said they had to give up their careers, which they had trained for since they left school, because of the strain.
Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd accepted liability but disputed the amount of compensation due and the severity of their injuries. Evans was awarded £230,972 against the airline. Hindmarch who quickly found better-paid work, was awarded £69,458.

Pollard powers West Indies to easy win over Ireland

Devon Smith
When Ireland managed to get the West Indian wickets at regular intervals on Friday, they must surely have nursed hopes of another upset and a possible place in the World Cup quarterfinals.
But they could not remove one man from the middle. Kieron Pollard made his bat do the talking in the third Powerplay as the Irish hopes started receding at the PCA stadium. Riding on the Devon Smith century that gave them a good start, and the explosive innings that Pollard played in the middle overs, the West Indies escaped a major embarrassment and scripted a 44-run win. Pollard changed the complexion of the game in the third Powerplay on the way to his 94 off 55 balls with eight fours and five sixes.
Devon Smith's workman like century (107;133b, 11x4, 1x6) was almost forgotten in the assault but it was that knock that laid the foundation for the Caribbean total of 275.
For Ireland, this was a bit too much. They began well but by the time the third Powerplay ended, Pollard and Smith had landed a telling blow to snatch the momentum away from them. Pollard was good in the field too as he came up with a spectacular low diving catch at long-off to shut the door on Kevin O' Brien and Ireland in the 40th over.
Irish captain William Porterfield and the team were fined for slow over-rate. The Irish team was involved in a protest against a decision by the umpire to rule Gary Wilson out.
The controversy erupted when Irish middle-order batsman Gary Wilson was adjudged lbw by on-field umpire Asoka de Silva and the decision was upheld by UDRS (TV umpire Bruce Oxenford). Wilson was given lbw off Darren Sammy, but the wicketkeeper-batsman argued with the umpire even after the UDRS was taken. Porterfield defended Wilson's defiance and the Ireland captain and team were fined 20% and 10 % of the match fee respectively.
"We are very disappointed with the decision. Technology is supposed to eradicate the mistakes and bad decisions but I am afraid today this was not the case. The giant screen clearly showed that the batsman was offering a shot and the ball was also hitting him outside the line. I wonder what prompted the on-field umpire and the third umpire to give that out," Porterfield wondered.
score card
West Indies innings (50 overs maximum) R M B 4s 6s SR
DS Smith b KJ O'Brien 107 194 133 11 1 80.45
S Chanderpaul c Porterfield b KJ O'Brien 35 102 62 3 0 56.45
DM Bravo b KJ O'Brien 0 2 3 0 0 0.00
RR Sarwan c Mooney b Dockrell 10 29 19 1 0 52.63
KA Pollard c Rankin b Mooney 94 83 55 8 5 170.90
DJG Sammy* c Dockrell b KJ O'Brien 4 1 3 1 0 133.33
DC Thomas† c †NJ O'Brien b Rankin 2 8 8 0 0 25.00
AD Russell b Mooney 3 15 7 0 0 42.85

NO Miller not out 5 9 6 0 0 83.33
SJ Benn run out (Botha/Mooney) 2 4 2 0 0 100.00
KAJ Roach c Stirling b Botha 1 1 2 0 0 50.00

Extras (b 3, lb 6, w 3) 12

Total (all out; 50 overs; 232 mins) 275 (5.50 runs per over)
Fall of wickets1-89 (Chanderpaul, 24.2 ov), 2-89 (Bravo, 24.5 ov), 3-130 (Sarwan, 31.6 ov), 4-218 (Smith, 42.3 ov), 5-222 (Sammy, 42.6 ov), 6-228 (Thomas, 44.6 ov), 7-267 (Pollard, 48.1 ov), 8-267 (Russell, 48.2 ov), 9-272 (Benn, 49.2 ov), 10-275 (Roach, 49.6 ov)

Bowling O M R W Econ

WB Rankin 10 1 35 1 3.50

AR Cusack 7 1 22 0 3.14

JF Mooney 9 0 58 2 6.44 (2w)
AC Botha 10 0 56 1 5.60

KJ O'Brien 9 0 71 4 7.88

PR Stirling 2 0 9 0 4.50

GH Dockrell 3 0 15 1 5.00 (1w)

Ireland innings (target: 276 runs from 50 overs) R M B 4s 6s SR
WTS Porterfield* c sub (R Rampaul) b Sammy 11 52 34 2 0 32.35
PR Stirling c Sammy b Benn 5 7 6 1 0 83.33
EC Joyce b Russell 84 150 106 9 0 79.24
NJ O'Brien† b Benn 25 38 31 2 0 80.64
GC Wilson lbw b Sammy 61 90 62 6 1 98.38
KJ O'Brien c Pollard b Sammy 5 10 9 0 0 55.55
AR Cusack st †Thomas b Benn 2 15 5 0 0 40.00
JF Mooney b Roach 6 18 7 1 0 85.71
AC Botha run out (Sammy) 0 3 7 0 0 0.00
GH Dockrell b Benn 19 22 19 3 0 100.00

WB Rankin not out 5 11 9 0 0 55.55

Extras (lb 4, w 3, nb 1) 8

Total (all out; 49 overs; 217 mins) 231 (4.71 runs per over)
Fall of wickets1-6 (Stirling, 1.4 ov), 2-42 (Porterfield, 11.6 ov), 3-86 (NJ O'Brien, 20.6 ov), 4-177 (Joyce, 37.3 ov), 5-187 (KJ O'Brien, 39.4 ov), 6-199 (Wilson, 41.4 ov), 7-199 (Cusack, 42.2 ov), 8-201 (Botha, 43.4 ov), 9-215 (Mooney, 45.5 ov), 10-231 (Dockrell, 48.6 ov)

Bowling O M R W Econ

KAJ Roach 8 0 34 1 4.25

SJ Benn 10 0 53 4 5.30 (2w)
DJG Sammy 10 3 31 3 3.10

AD Russell 10 2 37 1 3.70 (1nb)

KA Pollard 5 0 32 0 6.40 (1w)

NO Miller 6 0 40 0 6.66


ICC World Cup : Lion-hearted Bangladesh stun England by 2 wickets

Lion-hearted Bangladesh stunned England by two wickets on Friday to keep alive their World Cup quarterfinal hopes and set-up a nail-biting race to qualify from Group B.
On a rollercoaster night in Chittagong, Bangladesh, chasing just 226 to win, were cruising at 155/3 when opener Imrul Kayes, on 60, attempted a second run off Paul Collingwood but was beaten by a flat, sharp throw from Ajmal Shahzad.
That precipitated a collapse to 169/8, but tailenders Shafiul Islam (24) and Mohammad Mahmudullah (21) put on 58 for the ninth wicket to win with six balls to spare.
If England had won, they would have gone into the last eight along with group leaders India.
India can make sure of their place with victory over South Africa in Bangalore on Saturday while England have a tough clash with West Indies in Chennai on next Thursday that could decide their fate.
"We wanted to win this game and win it well," said England skipper Andrew Strauss.
"We struggled a little bit with the bat although I thought 225 was a competitive total. We needed to bowl and field well but didn't do that as well as we would have liked.
"We got ourselves in a great position to win the game but in the end we couldn't take those final two wickets."
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan praised his unlikely match-winners.
"I thought Mahmudullah and Shafiul batted exceptionally well. At one stage we thought we'd lost the game but they showed their character, how tough they are and how hard-working," said Shakib.
India have seven points at the head of Group B with the West Indies on six after seeing off Ireland in Mohali.
England are third with five points from five games, one ahead of South Africa (four points in three games) and Bangladesh (four points in four).
Earlier, Jonathan Trott and Eoin Morgan defied Bangladesh's spinners with half-centuries as England were bowled out for 225.
Trott hit 67 and left-hander Morgan, who arrived in Chittagong on Tuesday to replace the injured Kevin Pietersen, hit a fluent 63 off 72 balls.
The duo put on 109 for the fourth wicket after England, sent in to bat on a sluggish pitch at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium, slipped to 53-3 in the 17th over.
In Mohali, big-hitting Kieron Pollard nudged West Indies closer to the quarterfinals as his side defeated Ireland by 44 runs.
Pollard hammered 94 off just 55 balls and shared an 88-run stand with Devon Smith (107), who hit a maiden one-day century, as West Indies posted 275 before bowling out the Irish for 231.
Ed Joyce, ho played for England in the 2007 World Cup, made a 106-ball 84, containing nine fours and put on 109 for the fourth wicket with Gary Wilson (61).
"We batted, bowled and fielded pretty well, but Pollard struck the ball pretty clean. It was a good innings and it got them some good momentum," said Ireland captain William Porterfield.
Pollard said he was happy to keep proving his critics wrong.
"This innings is for the people who have supported me. What's been said about me (as a Twenty20 specialist), that's just history for me. I go out there and do my best."
score card

England innings (50 overs maximum) R B 4s 6s SR
AJ Strauss* c Junaid Siddique b Naeem Islam 18 31 2 0 58.06
MJ Prior† st †Mushfiqur Rahim b Abdur Razzak 15 20 2 0 75.00
IJL Trott c Junaid Siddique b Shakib Al Hasan 67 99 2 0 67.67
IR Bell c Naeem Islam b Mahmudullah 5 23 0 0 21.73
EJG Morgan c Imrul Kayes b Naeem Islam 63 72 8 0 87.50
RS Bopara c Naeem Islam b Abdur Razzak 16 22 1 0 72.72
GP Swann c & b Shakib Al Hasan 12 8 2 0 150.00
PD Collingwood run out (Mahmudullah) 14 13 0 0 107.69
TT Bresnan c Shafiul Islam b Rubel Hossain 2 2 0 0 100.00
A Shahzad b Shafiul Islam 1 3 0 0 33.33

JM Anderson not out 2 5 0 0 40.00

Extras (lb 2, w 8) 10

Total (all out; 49.4 overs) 225 (4.53 runs per over)
Fall of wickets1-32 (Prior, 7.0 ov), 2-39 (Strauss, 10.3 ov), 3-53 (Bell, 16.4 ov), 4-162 (Morgan, 38.4 ov), 5-182 (Trott, 43.4 ov), 6-195 (Bopara, 44.5 ov), 7-209 (Swann, 46.4 ov), 8-215 (Bresnan, 47.3 ov), 9-217 (Shahzad, 48.1 ov), 10-225 (Collingwood, 49.4 ov)

Bowling O M R W Econ

Shafiul Islam 8 0 43 1 5.37 (2w)
Rubel Hossain 8.4 0 40 1 4.61 (1w)
Naeem Islam 8 0 29 2 3.62

Abdur Razzak 10 2 32 2 3.20 (3w)
Mahmudullah 5 0 30 1 6.00

Shakib Al Hasan 10 0 49 2 4.90

Bangladesh innings (target: 226 runs from 50 overs) R B 4s 6s SR
Tamim Iqbal b Bresnan 38 26 5 0 146.15
Imrul Kayes run out (†Prior/Shahzad) 60 100 5 0 60.00
Junaid Siddique run out (Anderson) 12 12 2 0 100.00
Raqibul Hasan b Shahzad 0 2 0 0 0.00
Shakib Al Hasan* b Swann 32 58 1 0 55.17
Mushfiqur Rahim† c †Prior b Shahzad 6 20 1 0 30.00

Mahmudullah not out 21 42 2 0 50.00
Naeem Islam b Shahzad 0 5 0 0 0.00
Abdur Razzak c Bresnan b Swann 1 5 0 0 20.00

Shafiul Islam not out 24 24 4 1 100.00

Extras (b 1, lb 9, w 23) 33

Total (8 wickets; 49 overs) 227 (4.63 runs per over)
Did not bat Rubel Hossain
Fall of wickets1-52 (Tamim Iqbal, 8.4 ov), 2-70 (Junaid Siddique, 12.2 ov), 3-73 (Raqibul Hasan, 13.4 ov), 4-155 (Imrul Kayes, 30.6 ov), 5-162 (Shakib Al Hasan, 35.6 ov), 6-166 (Mushfiqur Rahim, 36.2 ov), 7-166 (Naeem Islam, 38.1 ov), 8-169 (Abdur Razzak, 39.4 ov)

Bowling O M R W Econ

JM Anderson 9 0 54 0 6.00 (3w)
A Shahzad 10 0 43 3 4.30 (5w)
TT Bresnan 10 1 35 1 3.50 (1w)
GP Swann 10 1 42 2 4.20 (2w)

RS Bopara 3 0 19 0 6.33 (3w)

PD Collingwood 7 0 24 0 3.42

Black money trail: Hasan Ali walks free

In an embarrassment for the Enforcement Directorate, a local court on Friday rejected its plea seeking remand of Hasan Ali Khan for his custodial interrogation in a money laundering case and granted bail to the controversial businessman.
Special sessions judge ML Tahaliyani said the ED relied on documents of questionable authenticity to build a case against Hasan Ali Khan. The court granted him bail for Rs 80,000 and two sureties. The court refused to stay the order for ED to file an appeal in the higher court.
The ED had arrested Khan on Monday for money laundering. The court said the ED failed to prove that there existed a case under Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The court also said ED did not carry out investigations to prove the authenticity of the documents. The court said ED did not make any efforts to arrest Khan till now though the investigations began in 2007. (Read: Hasan Ali issued passport in Patna!)
One of the requirements to invoke PMLA is that the suspect should have committed a criminal offence and generated money from it. This money if the suspect converted into tainted money, then it becomes a case under PMLA. The only criminal case against Ali is of using forged documents to obtain multiple passports. The judge said ED failed to prove that the he generated money in the forgery case and laundered it.
The documents found by the ED in its investigations show a transfer of $8 billion (Rs 36,000 crore) in his bank account in UBS Zurich. UBS has said that the documents submitted by the ED to prove this investments were forged. ED said $7 lakh (over Rs 3 crore) he transferred from his account his Bank Sarasin Switzerland to Barclays Bank account of SK Financial Services.
Tahaliyani said ED failed to prove there are cross border implications of the offence. The agency could not prove that the crime was committed in India and the property obtained from this crime was transferred outside.

We are cooperating with CBI : Kanimozhi

DMK MP and Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi, who was questioned by CBI on the 2G spectrum allocation scam, on Friday said full cooperation was being extended to the agency.
"We are answering everything and whatever is required. We are cooperating with CBI, unlike many political leaders who don't," Kanimozhi, who was questioned along with Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu at the DMK headquarters here, told reporters.
This showed their intention to "come out clean" on the issue, she said.
Kanimozhi said she was "asked to substantiate" on the statement issued by Kalaignar TV Managing Director Sharad Kumar on certain financial dealings.
Kanimozhi, who along with Dayalu collectively holds 80 per cent stake in the DMK-backed channel, said DMK never pressured the (Central) government on dealing with the case and added that the Supreme Court was monitoring the probe.
"Do you want me toe the BJP line," she shot back when asked if the Congress-led UPA was trying to use CBI against political parties.
Kalaignar TV had recently denied CBI's allegations that there was a connection between scam accused Shahid Balwa-promoted Swan Telecom and the channel, with the agency telling a court that "it has also come to light that there was a transaction of Rs 214 crore from Cineyug Films Private Limited to Kalaignar TV in 2009".
Kumar had denied receiving pay-offs from DB realty, whose former chief Balwa is in CBI net along with former Union telecom minister A Raja.

Tibetan movement to continue after Dalai Lama's retirement: Rinpoche

Samdhong Rinpoche
The de facto Prime Minister of Tibet-in-exile, Samdhong Rinpoche said here on Friday that the ongoing Tibetan movement would continue even after the Dalai Lama's retirement from politics.
Speaking to the TOI, Rinpoche said that the transfer of the Dalai Lama's authority to an elected leader did not mean that the Tibetan movement would die and disappear. "It is a struggle for a nation," he said.
However, he said that there would be certain difficulties in the transition of the power. "The transition will not be easy and smooth. It will be a painstakingly long and difficult process" said Rinpoche.
The Dalai Lama after passing the power to the elected head would no longer discharge the responsibilities of appointing the Tibetan election commissioner, chief justices, auditor-general and dissolving the Parliament and cabinet. As of now, any bill passed by Tibetan Parliament-in-exile does not become a law without the approval of the Dalai Lama. Rinpoche said that it was a major cause of concern for Tibetans in and outside Tibet.
He said that the Dalai Lama's decision could affect the legitimacy of the exiled Tibetan government. But to fulfil the Dalai Lama's wish to relinquish the temporal responsibilities, he (Rinpoche) would issue a message to the coming session of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile. He said all future course of action would depend on how intelligently the members of the legislative body formulated such a legislation.
He said that the exiled Tibetan cabinet called 'Kashag' would urge the members of the exiled parliament to consider this matter and decide accordingly. He however added that the transition process would not be executed immediately.
Samdhong Rinpoche said that a great number of Tibetans, collectively and individually, have been ardently supplicating the Dalai Lama not to take such a step.
Samdhong Rinpoche is to also relinquish his political post as Tibetans around the world would directly elect their next Prime Minister on March 20th for the third time in history. However, the new Prime Minister of exiled Tibetan government would not assume office until August of this year.