‘Impossible’ for Europe to accommodate all refugees – says world’s most famous exile
John Bingham, The Telegraph | September 14, 2015
The answer to the refugee crisis must be found in the Middle East because it would be “impossible” for Europe to provide sanctuary to everyone in need, the Dalai Lama has insisted.
The Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, who has himself been in exile for 56 years, praised Germany in particular for offering sanctuary to thousands of people fleeing war in Syria and elsewhere as “wonderful” but insisted it was not a “long-term solution”.
His remarks came at a meeting Oxford, where he inaugurated the Dalai Lama Centre for Compassion – which will specialise in the study of ethics – at the start of a 10-day visit to the UK which will include addressing thousands of people at the 02 arena on Saturday.
He spoke of the need for the interests of “humanity” to come before those of countries or even continents.
But asked for his impressions on the European response to the refugee crisis, he said: “I think some, especially Germany, [have given] a very good response, and Austria.
“And then this country also now is showing serious consideration about that – wonderful.
“But then you have to think, it is impossible for [everyone outside] Europe [to] come to Europe, impossible.
“They are taking care about these refugees, a small number, but ultimately we have to think how to reduce this killing in their own countries.
“And the way to reduce [that] is not using force … in certain cases maybe but generally using force never solves these problems.”
He said that only education, dialogue, and personal contact could resolve conflicts in the long-term.
“So taking care of several thousand refugees [is] wonderful, but [in the] mean time you have to think about long-term solutions, how to bring genuine peace and genuine development, mainly through education, for these Muslim countries,” he said.
The 80-year-old also spoke about the possibility that the role of Dalai Lama would not continue after his death insisting that it should be up to the Tibetan people to decide if he were to have a successor.
He joked that the Communist government in China seemed more concerned about the possibility of him being reincarnated than he was himself.
There was controversy in China earlier this year when he repeated hi suggestion that he might be the last Dalai Lama rather than being reincarnated in line with Tibetan Buddhists beliefs.
Beijing sees itself as the proper guardian of the process of choosing his successor and even determining how the process of reincarnation might be determined.
Asked about the controversy the Dalai Lama remarked: “I am not much concerned about Dalai Lama institution.
“As early as 1969 in [a] public statement I mentioned [the question of] whether the Dalai Lama institution should continue or not is up to Tibetan people.
“If majority of people feel that this institution has not much relevance then it [will] automatically cease.
“I have not much concern.”
Laughing, he added: “It seems the Chinese government, communists who do not believe in rebirth and very critical about the Tibetan tradition, I think that they are more concerned about Dalai Lama institution than myself.”