The Dalai Lama was busy the past week representing Tibet, complimenting Chinese President Xi Jinping on recognizing Buddhism, and calling for world peace.
India and China have historically had difficulties agreeing on their shared border over the Himalayas, and China became incensed by the decision in 1959 that India made to take in the religious leader the Dalai Lama. However, after a successful visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to the country of India recently, the Dalai Lama complimented the president’s open-mindedness.
The Dalai Lama stated that: “Xi Jinping is more open-minded; his thinking is more realistic.” The Dalai Lama believes that this means that “he [President Xi Jinping] can learn more from India.” The Dalai Lama is often seen as the most important representative of Tibet, a nation of people that has been struggling under Chinese control for generations.
Tensions Between China, Tibet, and India May See Some Relief
Throughout Xi Jinping’s visit to India, there have been many protests against the way that Tibet and its people have been treated. Many Tibetans who now live in India marched on the hotel where he was staying, and still others tried to prevent him from attending some events. The Dalai Lama did not personally sanction these demonstrations, but Xi Jinping’s visit to India has certainly been an excellent way to highlight the concerns of the Tibetan people. Many Tibetans who have escaped now live in India, and the Tibetan government is now held in India. China has always claimed ownership of Tibet, and reports of torture and army movement against Tibetan people have always followed China. Many people hope that India and China’s recent trade agreements will give India a better position to negotiate on behalf of the Tibetan people for greater freedom and the ability to return to their homeland.
President Xi Jinping Acknowledges Buddhism, and the Dalai Lama Gives Him More Compliments
The Dalai Lama’s praise for President Xi Jinping continued Monday, September 22 when he complimented the president’s recognition of Buddhism as central to Chinese history and culture. According to the religious leader, this is the first time an authority in the Communist Party of China has recognized religion’s role in Chinese culture.
“I think till 30 years ago… or even 15-20 years ago, no other Communist party leader [was seen] showing some respect to or appreciation of Buddha dharma. Preservation of Tibetan culture, Buddhism, Buddhist leadership… should be paid some attention,” Dalai Lama said.
Dalai Lama Joins List of Leaders Who Condemn ISIS
On Saturday during his interfaith conference, the Dalai Lama had less kind words for those who use religion to justify violent acts against others. The Tibetan leader had a simple message: “Killing in the name of faith is unacceptable.” He specifically addressed the Islamic State, ISIS, saying that a jihad is “to combat our inner destructive emotions. It does not mean harming other people.” The Islamic State has been ravaging Syria and Iraq committing genocides against many religious minorities and anyone who disagrees with their extremism. The Dalai Lama believes the world must stand up to ISIS and that “spiritual people can show the world that it can be a happy family [despite] the different faiths.”
- Hindustan Times
- Wall Street Journal
- DNA India
- World Religion News – Krista R. Burdine
- World Religion News – Kyle Glatz