The Dalai Lama announced Thursday his retirement from public life. He asked the Tibetan parliament in exile to relieve him of his “formal authority” as head of the Tibetan government. “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,” he said in a speech. “Now, we have clearly reached the time to put this into effect.” The Dalai Lama may also take what the Guardian calls “the unprecedented step of seeking his own reincarnation” to avoid a succession crisis when he dies. In 1995, the Dalai Lama named a young Tibetan boy as the next incarnation, but the Chinese government rejected him and he has not been seen since.