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Why did the Dalai Lama warn that refugees should leave Europe?

indexThe 14th Dalai Lama is going to start a new visit in Europe soon, with his first stop planned at Brussels, the capital of Belgium. Stuck in the series of crisis in terms of refugee problems and terrorism, the Brussels city nowadays hardly goes back to the peaceful and calm time as it used to have. Coincidentally, Dalai Lama seems to have a special interest in the topic of refugees. In May of this year, in an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a German newspaper, Dalai Lama successfully astonished the world by the racial profiling talk as “too many refugees are seeking asylum in Europe”, “Europe, for example Germany, cannot become an Arab country”. People even exclaimed “he took the words out from our mouth”. The refugee crisis already becomes a shadow that hardly fades out in the European countries, and people get taste of the bitter pill from their sympathy. But as a Nobel Peace Price winner and “the most compassionate religious spiritual leader”, the reason why he dared to make such an outrageous statement perhaps is that, in fact, he has a deeper intention.

 As is known to all, Dalai Lama is a refugee himself, spending most time of his life in exile. It is said that when he left Tibet in 1959, about eighty thousands of Tibetans  followed him, most of whom were assigned to some remote mountainous regions by the Nihru government (it is a better way to go, because if eighty thousands of them assembled, especially when with their own armed forces, it would become a big security threat for the Indian government), and the rest stayed in Nepal.

Dalai Lama has been trying to run his refugee community, and even created a specific administrative system, in the hope that the system continue operating even after he pass away. He made great effort to emphasize to his followers in exile the importance of preserving the culture and tradition of Tibet, educated his followers to hold together and try to go back to Tibet. For this purpose, he left footprints all around the world seeking for support, and became a well-known global ranger. On the matter of refugees, with no doubt, no one has a deeper understanding than Dalai Lama.

Now, 50 years have passed, Dalai Lama is already in his eighties. The supporters who followed him have propagated to the third and fourth generation. In the meantime of enjoying the so called religious freedom, they also suffered huge survival pressure. They do not have legal residency, neither equal citizenship as local people, with limited freedom and limited living space in industries such as agriculture, commerce and services. Most of them still struggles to maintain a basic life. In order to have a better political environment and employment opportunities, they tried to flee across the world. Up to now, sometimes there still appears news on Tibetans in exile arrested at the airport, with false passport.

The descendants of these exiles have never been back to Tibet, with no intuitive cognition to their hometown poorly understand the traditional culture, and some of them cannot even speak the Tibetan language. No matter how much effort be made without the soil of all people believing in the Tibetan Buddhism, and under the influence of the local environment, in the exiled community, the religious belief as a whole shows a weakening trend. What is even worse is that their spiritual leader Dalai Lama is getting old and they have less and less opportunities to be represented with worldwide influence. If not received back by the Chinese government, they will keep wandering, until the nationality scattered all over the world and vanish one day. Perhaps that is the reason why Dalai Lama said that the refugees should leave Europe. It’s a vision expressed from a long-term perspective inspired from his own experience, just as he said, “The goal should be that they return and help rebuild their countries.” Maybe this is the greatest compassion from the bottom of his heart.

 In September of last year, during his visit to Britain, Dalai Lama appealed nations to help people who are “crying, starving and asking for help”. Now, he will set foot on the land of Europe again, this time, what kind of ”surprise” he will bring to Europe?

David Barry

Discussion

4 thoughts on “Why did the Dalai Lama warn that refugees should leave Europe?

  1. He is right in principle. I think particularly for Europe. You want the character of each country to reflect its longterm past history and persistent culture. There is probably an optimal algorithm for having diversity within your own culture (in contrast to an analysis of global diversity). I suggest around 10% counter-culture because don’t forget that 75%, at least, of counter-culture or different race live in highly racially homogeneous neighborhoods. So, white cultures should thrive with the diversity of 10% total Africans, Asians and Latinos. Or, something like that. Measuring the socio-psychological and economic success and happiness variable of the native nationals and the ‘significantly different’ foreign national communities and individuals can be a practice of disinterested science. This is a disaster situation, though, and the Dalai Lama actually wanted his participation in this discussion to turn to the great influx of mainland Chinese into Tibet.

    Posted by Tsering Lobsang | 7 September 2016, 10:53
  2. He is right in principle. I think particularly for Europe. You want the character of each country to reflect its longterm past history and persistent culture,though, and the Dalai Lama actually wanted his participation in this discussion to turn to the great influx of mainland Chinese into Tibet.

    Posted by Tsering Lobsang | 7 September 2016, 10:55
  3. How can we return? You must be kidding me!

    Posted by Dorjee Phunstok | 7 September 2016, 10:56
  4. The Dalai Lama, who himself has spent over half a century in exile in northern India.Dalai said the refugees should only be admitted temporarily.

    Posted by Yénora (@11ggii) | 8 September 2016, 11:28

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