Dalai Lama says 'too many' refugees in Europe

Published: May 31, 2016
Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

BERLIN: The Dalai Lama said in an interview published Thursday that Europe has accepted “too many” refugees, and that they should eventually return to help rebuild their home countries.

“When we look into the face of every single refugee, especially the children and women, we can feel their suffering,” said the Tibetan spiritual leader, who has himself lived in exile for over half a century.

“A human being who is a bit more fortunate has the duty to help them. On the other hand, there are too many now,” he said, according to the German translation of the interview in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

‘Dialogue’ necessary with Islamic State, says Dalai Lama

“Europe, for example Germany, cannot become an Arab country,” he added with a laugh, the daily reported. “Germany is Germany.

“There are so many that in practice it becomes difficult.”

The Dalai Lama added that “from a moral point of view too, I think that the refugees should only be admitted temporarily”.

“The goal should be that they return and help rebuild their countries.”

Germany last year took in 1.1 million people fleeing war and misery in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries, but the flow was reduced sharply by the decision of Balkan countries to close their borders to people travelling through Turkey and into northern Europe.

Dalai Lama warns of growing divide among Tibetans

The Dalai Lama also said in the interview, conducted in Dharamsala, seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile in northern India, that he hopes to one day return to Tibet.

“Maybe in a few years,” said the 80-year-old. “If an opportunity for my return arises, or at least for a short visit, that would be a source of great joy.”

Thousands of Tibetans have fled their Himalayan homeland since China sent in troops in 1951, and many have settled in India.

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Reader Comments (34)

  • Zaheer Ahmed
    May 31, 2016 - 8:24PM

    Isn’t he a refugee in India himself?Recommend

  • Rigardo
    May 31, 2016 - 10:26PM

    @Zaheer Ahmed:
    So? Is he going around enforcing sharia law? Or even worse HARMING women??Recommend

  • Hameed
    May 31, 2016 - 11:22PM

    @Zaheer Ahmed:
    Its OK for him. Just not for others.

    Why did he have to get in this debate anyway. Nothing to do with him.Recommend

  • Basit
    Jun 1, 2016 - 12:48AM

    The refugees aren’t doing any of the sort. It’s the economic migrants that seem to be causing issues.Recommend

  • Debra
    Jun 1, 2016 - 12:54AM

    This guy has a knack for distilling the whole situation into a succinct phrase.

    I am not Buddhist but thinking people sure can nail it. Recommend

  • Debra
    Jun 1, 2016 - 12:57AM

    You need to reread the manual, buddy. He is not MUSLIM but BUDDHIST- and although I am a Christian, that kind of mislabelling of a human being helps NO ONE. EVER.

    And just another clue- those guys with turbans are not Muslims either.Recommend

  • Sundar
    Jun 1, 2016 - 1:33AM

    Accepting refugees permanently is not a solution. Trying to make their original country safe to live in, is a better solution. Especially Muslim refugees wherever they come from, do not integrate with the locals. They try to enforce the conditions which created problems in the first place. Recommend

  • Parvez
    Jun 1, 2016 - 1:53AM

    Very sensible words……have always been impressed by his wisdom and logic.Recommend

  • Bairooni Haath
    Jun 1, 2016 - 1:54AM


    He is entitled to voice his opinion as one of the foremost spiritual leaders in the world.Recommend

  • john
    Jun 1, 2016 - 3:02AM

    From the article: thousands of Tibetan Refugees.

    Also from the article: Germany accepted 1.1 million refugees.

    There is an obvious differenceRecommend

  • Pushtun Voice
    Jun 1, 2016 - 3:41AM

    There are more refugees in Pakistan than in all of Europe and Pakistan has housed them for more than 35 years. I don’t remember him saying we dont want to turn Pakistani into an Afghan country.

    Maybe the Lama cannot tolerate white people being inconvienienced!

    @Rigardo : could you please enlighten us where in the West has Sharia law been enforced or is applied? Recommend

  • David
    Jun 1, 2016 - 3:46AM

    He is absolutely right. The sources that forcing people become refugee should be addressed and no. On one wish to leave their own country. Big support! Recommend

  • Dalai
    Jun 1, 2016 - 3:54AM

    These refugees are causing a backlash. No one in Europe wants those types of people around

    It is as much his business as Kashmir/Bangladesh/ Myanmar is yours

    Don’t forget Pakistan has signed the Simla accordsRecommend

  • someone
    Jun 1, 2016 - 3:55AM

    @Zaheer Ahmed:
    India welcomed him. Not sure about whether Europeans want those “refugees”. I wonder how come Pakistan did not offer asylum to all those “Birathar” refugees or why those refugees not going to other Muslim countries.Recommend

  • leela4fun
    Jun 1, 2016 - 4:53AM

    Buddhist intolerance! Buddhist terror against adherents of the religion of peace!Recommend

  • Nan Davis
    Jun 1, 2016 - 5:04AM

    Wise man. He and his followers are peaceful refugees in India, who take no aid from the Indian government and are from an adjoining nation. They plan on returning to their home land when it is safe to do so. He understands compassion, but realized the numbers of refugees are too many, the culture stop different, and that the safe haven must be temporary,like his is.Recommend

  • Nan Davis
    Jun 1, 2016 - 5:11AM

    @Zaheer Ahmed:
    He is from an adjoining country (like refugees in Jordan from Syria), and just a few miles inside india. They are there only temporarily , are pacifists, and take no aid from India. They are self supporting and cause no crimes….totally different situation. Did you read the article? Sudanese, Pakistanis and others are passing through many countries to invade the EU.Recommend

  • Smitty J
    Jun 1, 2016 - 5:13AM

    @Hameed It has to do with everyone in the globe Recommend

  • Nan Davis
    Jun 1, 2016 - 5:15AM

    He is an honored wise man that most in the world admire. He and his people were welcomed to India, as they share a border and are peaceful. They did not jump over several countries to invade. They plan to return to their homeland.Recommend

  • Prada
    Jun 1, 2016 - 8:07AM

    @Zaheer Ahmed: India is honored to have such a great man living in our midst. He represents a religion that every other religion must aspire to be. He does not impose his will on anyone. Like @Rigardo says, he does not enjoy the hospitality of the host and stab them in the back. He did not ask for Buddhist laws to be imposed in his host nation. He represents Buddhism now compare him to some of your clerics and then, maybe, you will see the light.Recommend

  • moeed
    Jun 1, 2016 - 10:14AM

    he is a muslim hater anyway Recommend

  • Wolf
    Jun 1, 2016 - 2:13PM

    A human being who is a bit more fortunate has the duty to help them. On the other hand, there are too many now,” he said, according to the German translation of the interview in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

    There is not one word about refugees in the interview in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
    The article is about his birthday and the problems with china.
    You cited wrong!Recommend

  • Travis
    Jun 1, 2016 - 6:17PM

    Germany will pay a heavy price for Merkel’s foolish move to take in so many refugees. They will bring this great nation to its knees.Recommend

  • yes
    Jun 2, 2016 - 1:18AM

    Yes, spot on.
    “Europe, for example Germany, cannot become an Arab country,” he added with a laugh, the daily reported. “Germany is Germany.”
    One million refuges in an overwhelming white country with predominantly non-Arabs of around 79 million, cannot make Germany an Arab country.
    I had always thought that the Dalai Lama accepted all ethnic groups and all religious groups without reservations. I have been proved wrong.Recommend

  • asadullah.mahmoood
    Jun 2, 2016 - 4:39AM

    Merkel seems to be infinitely more compassionate than the Dalia Lama.Recommend

  • Milind
    Jun 2, 2016 - 8:29AM

    @yes – Its difficult to accept Muslims these days. They have this habit of biting the hand that feeds them.. Even Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia & other Gulf countries know it and are keeping their co-religionists at bay.Recommend

  • Imtiyaz
    Jun 2, 2016 - 10:23AM

    What a hypocrite as he is a refugee himself, send this refugee back like he states for other refugeesRecommend

  • Tyggar
    Jun 2, 2016 - 12:15PM

    Why doesn’t Pakistan take in the Pakistani Biharis stranded in Bangladesh (Who incidentally fought for Pakistan in 1971) or the Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar?


  • irfan
    Jun 2, 2016 - 1:56PM

    Instead of pointing finger at refugees , Mr. Dalai Lama , point your fingers on those countries which are responsible to brought chaos in Middle East .Recommend

  • Rahul
    Jun 2, 2016 - 7:23PM


    Dalai Llama and the other Tibetan refugees have never taken advantage of Indian hospitality. Dalai Llama’s abode in Dharamsala is a tourist attraction with world leaders and celebrities making their pilgrimage. Dalai Llama rules the spiritual world today because of his simplicity, honesty, candidness and spirituality. In western countries, Buddhism is the fastest growing faith today and Dalai Llama is the face it is associated with. When Dalai Llama issues a statement, you can be sure he has pondered over it and his advice is practical yet compassionate and has thought through the issue from all sides.Recommend

  • Note
    Jun 2, 2016 - 9:50PM

    The Buddhist clergy should take note of the Dalai Lama’s anti-Muslim, anti-Arab statement is it brings disrepute to the non-violence and all acceptance teachings of Buddhism. Recommend

  • Zephyr
    Jun 3, 2016 - 2:59AM

    Strange, hailing from the mountains that apparently is the “PERMANENT” residence of his holiness, I second your thoughts completely , refugees alike “you” should be allowed temporarily, May I qoute what my childhood peer said the other day about the place we both were BORN and raised, “This doesn’t look like like our town , nor do the people behave the same”- He sighed ,All thanks to a bunch of self proclaimed monks who have actually made US, the natives feel like a refugee, drugs, gambling ,what not ? Anyhow, yes, FREE TIBET after all, let your exile be your fortress.Recommend

  • ED
    Jun 3, 2016 - 8:27AM

    @ET: Muslims bite the hands that feed them.
    What is with this paper, which is always printing anti-Muslim statements? The mods can’t see through sweeping generalizations. Shame.Recommend

  • Sami
    Jun 9, 2016 - 4:44PM

    Who is he, this Dalai Lama? This is a genuine product of feudal Tibetan origin and which wants the great figure of Buddhism, with the desire to reclaim Tibet, Chinese Province and make a country whose political philosophy would be Buddhism, therefore religion, and that would be led by this caste of rich and extremely reactionary Buddhist monks.
    Nobel Peace Prize (?!) It is a supporter of the US and NATO and wants to perpetuate this privileged caste of monks who do not work. Living on the locals, often very poor. Who exploit children as young as five years old, physically and sexually, a revolting manner, with the blessing of Western powers who are trying, through this retrograde religion to destabilize China. Who have the most beautiful and richest temples throughout Asia including many have solid gold roofs, particularly in Tibet and Burma who are very poor regions.
    Recovered by the Western countries that actually have a living god as he considers himself and consider as some of his admirers, he just made a statement that will surprise only political naive. In a recent and very violent speech he has denounced the European countries that host the waves of refugees from Africa and the Middle East, giving them tips that prove the racism of that man considered a wise and an apostle nonviolence. Indeed, the Dalai Lama believes that Europeans who receive the refugees will be overwhelmed by the Arabs and they welcome that will pollute and corrupt Western civilization!
    This “pacifism” there is a fascist ideology, racist and hateful. But nobody cares!Recommend

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