The exiled spiritual leader of Tibet has also been the political leader of the region since his reign began in 1950. However, he has lived in exile for almost 52 years, since a 1959 uprising forced him to flee to India.
Since then, his Eminence the Dalai Lama has advocated for a number possible solutions for the region, including turning it into a "zone of peace," free of nuclear weapons and with support for human rights. He has campaigned for numerous peaceful solutions throughout the years, meeting with world leaders to discuss important human rights issues.
However, the Lama has long sought to divorce himself from the political struggles of Tibet, as he feels his image looms over the situation. According to the AP, he plans to propose amendments to the exile constitution "reflecting my decision to devolve my formal authority to the elected leader."
For some historic images of the Dalai Lama's long political career, check out the images below.