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Dalai Lama talks of retirement

By Christian DuChateau, CNN
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Dalai Lama considers retiring
  • The Dalai Lama says in interview he would like to retire
  • Dalai Lama: "I'm over 75, so next 10 years, next 20 years, one day I will go"
  • The Dalai Lama said he supports recent protests in Tibet
  • Dalai Lama reiterated his support for Nobel Peace Prize winner, Liu Xiaobo

Miami, Florida, (CNN) -- The Dalai Lama would like to retire.

"I'm also a human being. ... Retirement is also my right," the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet told CNN's Hala Gorani in Miami, Florida, this week.

Without saying exactly when, he said, "Sooner or later, I have to go. I'm over 75, so next 10 years, next 20 years, one day I will go."

The Dalai Lama also said he supports recent protests in Tibet, where students marched in opposition to government plans to teach university classes in Mandarin Chinese, instead of the traditional Tibetan language.

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  • Dalai Lama
  • Liu Xiaobo

"My real boss is the Tibetan people inside Tibet. So now, whenever they carry some sort of movement, I have to support," he said. He added that as long as protests are nonviolent, they should be considered lawful and reasonable.

He sees signs of change in Tibet and remains "optimistic" about the region's future, he said.

Also in the interview, the Dalai Lama reiterated his support for recent Nobel Peace Prize winner, Liu Xiaobo, imprisoned in China. He said he joined a group of Nobel laureates, including South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who have called on Chinese authorities to release Liu.

The Dalai Lama said he is not bothered if world leaders do not want to meet with him so as not to anger China.

"It doesn't matter," he said. "If they find it a little bit inconvenient, then of course, it's absolutely OK." He said his main concern is meeting with the public to promote human values and religious harmony.

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The internet and social media are "extremely useful" in engaging what he called a "closed society" like China, he said. The Dalai Lama is an active voice on the social media website Twitter, although he admits, "as far as technology itself is concerned, I'm completely ignorant." He said his staff tweets his thoughts for his almost 1 million followers online.

The Dalai Lama is wrapping up a speaking tour of North America.