The Dalai Lama is the spiritual leader of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, attended a conference in Sweden’s third largest city of Malmö, home to a large immigration population.
During the conference, Lama said that
“Refugees should return to their native countries to rebuild them.”
He further said,
“Europe was morally responsible for helping a refugee really facing danger against their life. Receive them, help them, educate them… but ultimately they should develop their own country,” reported The Local, Sweden.
This monk’s statement came as a rude shock to many who he referred to as “refugees”. Incidentally, the 83-year-old Tibetan had himself fled the capital Lhasa in fear of his life after China poured troops into the region to crush an uprising.
Adding justification to his statement at the conference, Dalai Lama said,
“I think Europe belongs to the Europeans, they should make clear to refugees that they ultimately should rebuild their own country.”
Revered by millions of Buddhists around the world, and regarded by his many supporters as a visionary in the vein of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, the Dalai Lama was speaking three days after the far-right populist party Sweden Democrats made gains in the country’s general election on Sunday.
The anti-immigration party came in third, behind Prime Minister Stefan Löfven’s Social Democrats and the opposition conservative Moderates in the Nordic nation which in 2015 took in the highest number of asylum seekers per capita in Europe.
The Dalai Lama had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Sunday, December 10, 1989, after spending 40 years as a fugitive/refugee in India, due to the hospitality and magnanimity extended by successive governments in India, irrespective of party.
The exiled spiritual and political Tibetan leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, at a recent event in August at a management institute of Goa, had surprisingly said that India’s Partition would have been averted had Qaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah become the first Prime Minister of India.
“Mahatma Gandhi was very much willing to give the prime-ministership to Jinnah. But Pandit Nehru refused. I think Pandit Nehru was a little bit self-centered,” said the Dalai Lama.
However, just two days later, he apologised for his remarks on Nehru who helped him settle in India,
“My statements (on Nehru) have created a controversy. I apologise if I said something wrong. “I had a close relationship with Nehru, who suggested to have separate schools to preserve the Tibetan thought. He (Nehru) supported the Tibetans’ cause,” the 14th Dalai Lama said.