Dalai Lama Suggests Refugees Return to Their Native Countries

By Minette (Flickr: [1]) [CC BY 2.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

The spiritual leader advocates for refugees to return to their homeland

Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibetan Buddhist people, expressed his opinion that Europeans should be the sole decider of politics in Europe. He spoke at a conference held in the Swedish metropolis of Malmo, a city with a significant immigrant population. The Buddhist leader said refugees should go back to where they came from and help to rebuild their respective countries. He did not absolve the European countries of all responsibility, saying Europe is morally bound to assist any refugees who genuinely fear for their lives. Sweden took in the highest number of refugees amongst all other European nations in 2015.

The Dalai Lama is a renowned personality all around the globe. His supporters regard him as a kind of visionary, the perfect mix of Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi. Interestingly, these comments by the Buddhist spiritual head came barely three days after the political party Sweden Democrats made significant inroads in the nation's general election. The Sweden Democrats is a far-right political party who has pulled no punches in their antipathy towards immigration. To the shock of political observers, the rabidly right-wing group came in third place behind Social Democrats and the conservative Moderates. Stefan Lofven, the present Prime Minister of Sweden, was elected from the Social Democrats party.

The Dalai Lama clarified his statement, saying that he advocates for receiving the refugees, helping them to survive in a new environment, and educating them so they can return to their respective countries. It is to be mentioned that the Dalai Lama himself is a refugee who fled from Tibet when the Chinese troops invaded his country. The spiritual leader, now 83 years old, lives in a North Indian city.

Swedish political pundits pointed out that the rise of Sweden Democrats is not as ominous as it sounds. They quote the statistics: the Swedish far-right party received about 17.6 percent of the votes, an increase of 4.7 points compared to 2014 election results. This rise is not as steep as the party enjoyed during the 2010 to 2014 years, witnessing a rise of 7.2 percent in popular support.

Social media users quickly condemned the comments made by the Dalai Lama. They termed him a hypocrite and a bigot. They questioned when the Dalai Lama will return to Tibet from his current India residence. To Dalai Lama observers, this comment was not surprising. He said earlier that Germany cannot be an Arab country simply due to large-scale immigration from Arabic speaking countries.

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