Dalai Lama praises China’s leader as ‘realistic’

Caption: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, center, walks for a group photograph during an inter-faith meeting in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. The Dalai Lama brought religious leaders together Saturday to mull some of India’s most pressing problems, from gender violence to widespread poverty, while praising the country’s religious harmony as proof to the world that different communities can live peacefully together. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

By KATY DAIGLE | Associated Press – Sept 21, 2014

NEW DELHI (AP) — The Dalai Lama praised Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday for being “more realistic” and principled than his predecessors, a day after Xi’s three-day visit to India ended.

The Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader has lived in exile for decades in India’s Himalayan foothill city of Dharamsala, after fleeing China following a failed 1959 uprising. The arrangement has irritated Beijing, which has long accused the Dalai Lama of fomenting unrest and encouraging Buddhist monks to self-immolate in demanding more autonomy for Tibet, a Himalayan region in western China that borders India, Bhutan and Nepal.

However, Beijing’s attitude appears to be shifting, the Dalai Lama said, noting that China’s Communist leaders, who officially are atheist, are now “mentioning the importance of spiritualism.”

“There are a lot of changes,” the Dalai Lama told reporters.

He said that since becoming president in March 2013, Xi has demonstrated “through his handling of problems, he is comparatively more realistic and with more principles” than his predecessors.

The remarks brought no immediate comment from China’s government or state media. However, Beijing has previously denounced the Dalai Lama as a separatist traitor and warned that any of his moderate comments are deceptive. China says the Himalayan region has been part of Chinese territory for centuries, while Tibetans say it was virtually independent until China occupied it in 1950.

India is home to a large Tibetan community as well as Tibet’s government-in-exile. During Xi’s visit to New Delhi this past week, dozens of Tibetan protesters shouting “Hands off Tibet!” staged a noisy demonstration outside the building where he was meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Dalai Lama also said Saturday on the sidelines of an interfaith meeting in New Delhi that India and China should put aside any animosities they harbor over a long-festering border dispute and “remain peaceful on the basis of mutual trust,” according to Press Trust of India.

The border dispute, over which the two nations fought a bloody monthlong war in 1962, has complicated relations for decades, with the two militaries in a tense standoff even last week while Xi was in New Delhi. Both Xi and Modi vowed special efforts in resolving the dispute as they work to boost economic cooperation.

The Dalai Lama also praised India for proving that communities can live peacefully together, and said India must show its example of religious harmony to the rest of the world.

“India is the only country where all major world religions live together, not only in modern time but over 1,000 years,” he said in opening the two-day interfaith meeting he had organized for leaders from nine religious communities to mull some of India’s most pressing and seemingly endemic problems — from gender violence and widespread poverty to environmental degradation and communal violence.

India has been soul-searching somewhat, since national elections stirred up questions about the nation’s identity and ambitions for the future as it pushes for rapid economic growth and 21st century technologies even as three-fourths of its 1.2 billion population still live on less than $1.25 a day.

The landslide victory by Modi and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party left some worried that his association with Hindu hardliners could encourage violence between Muslims and Hindus, who make up 80 percent of the country’s population.

The Dalai Lama urged the religious leaders to more actively promote tolerance, saying there was no justification for violence carried out in the name of religion or extremist ideology.

“Some people (are) killing in the name of religion,” he said. “For economy reasons or political power, of course it’s very sad but understandable. But killing in the name of faith, for different religious faith, (is) unthinkable.”

G+ Comments

Facebook Comments


Live & Die for Buddhism

candle

Maha Ghosananda

Maha Ghosananda

Supreme Patriarch of Cambodian Buddhism (5/23/1913 - 3/12/07). Forever in my heart...

Problems we face today

jendhamuni pink scarfnature

Of the many problems we face today, some are natural calamities and must be accepted and faced with equanimity. Others, however, are of our own making, created by misunderstanding, and can be corrected...

Major Differences

Major Differences in Buddhism

Major Differences in Buddhism: There is no almighty God in Buddhism. There is no one to hand out rewards or punishments on a supposedly Judgement Day ...read more

My Reflection

My Reflection

This site is a tribute to Buddhism. Buddhism has given me a tremendous inspiration to be who and where I am today. Although I came to America at a very young age, however, I never once forget who I am and where I came from. One thing I know for sure is I was born as a Buddhist, live as a Buddhist and will leave this earth as a Buddhist. I do not believe in superstition. I only believe in karma.

A Handful of Leaves

A Handful of Leaves

Tipitaka: The pali canon (Readings in Theravada Buddhism). A vast body of literature in English translation the texts add up to several thousand printed pages. Most -- but not all -- of the Canon has already been published in English over the years. Although only a small fraction of these texts are available here at Access to Insight, this collection can nonetheless be a very good place to start.

Just the way it is

1. Accept everything just the way it is.
2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.
6. Do not regret what you have done.
7. Never be jealous.
8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor... read more