Dalai Lama on refugee crisis: ‘It is impossible for everyone to come to Europe’

Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama © Darren Staples
Europe could not host all refugees, the Dalai Lama has said, adding that the real solution to the current refugee crisis lies in the Middle East. The Tibetan Buddhist leader has called for the ending violence in the refugees’ home countries.

The Dalai Lama addressed the issue of the ongoing refugee crisis in his speech at the opening of the Dalai Lama Centre for Compassion in Oxford, which is dedicated to ethics studies, at the beginning of his 10-day visit to the UK.

He claimed that, under current circumstances, the interests of humanity should be put before the interests of single nations or even continents. He also stressed that, however admirable, the West-European countries’ response to the refugee crisis is inadequate to the situation.

“It it’s impossible for everyone to come to Europe,” he said in his speech.

Although the Dalai Lama praised Germany’s and Austria’s efforts in dealing with the crisis, he stressed that it was only a temporary solution.

“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 emphasized.

"Ultimately we have to think about how to reduce the killing in their countries. We have to reduce the use of force. The use of force has never solved these problems,” he added.

Addressing the issue of violence, the Dalai Lama also commented on George Bush’s actions following 9/11 terrorist attacks, claiming that the US’ violent response engendered a chain of uncontrollable events.

“After 9/11 I expressed my condolences in a letter to President Bush and told him the way to solve this problem was through non-violence. I know his motives were good but he used force and it created unexpected consequences,” the Dalai Lama said.

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