September 13: Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama called the reports of gross human rights violations n Burma “very unfortunate” and said he tried to contact pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the Burmese government over the issue.
“Yes, it’s very unfortunate. But no avenue of communication with the Burmese government is open to me. Although I am a Buddhist, very few Buddhist countries, apart from Japan, have given me permission to visit them on pilgrimage,” the Dalai Lama said in response to a question on the reports of gross human rights violations against the Rohingya Muslims in western Burma.
“In fact you could say I have greater freedom to visit Christian countries or even a Muslim country like Jordan, than I do to visit most Buddhist countries. The situation with Burma is the same.”
The Dalai Lama, who was speaking on the Importance of Non-violence and Ethical Values at the Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi on Wednesday, further added that he wrote to Aung San Suu Kyi, his only contact in the country, on the issue. The two Nobel Peace laureates had recently met in London.
“Accordingly, I wrote to her about this matter, but have had no reply. Likewise, I asked my representative in Delhi to approach the Burmese Embassy here, but after several weeks we’ve had no response. So, there’s little I can do but pray,” the Tibetan leader said.
“If allegations that Buddhist monks have been involved in assaulting these Muslim brothers and sisters turn out to be true, it is totally wrong.”
Earlier in the day, the Dalai Lama also separately met with the editors of three Urdu language newspapers.
Returning back to the University which conferred an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) on him in 2010, the Dalai Lama reflected on the oneness of humanity in our common desire and right to be happy.
The 77-year-old Tibetan leader explained that trust and friendship were necessary to be a contented human being, which he said tends to develop “much better once we realise that all beings have a right to happiness, just as we do.”
“Taking others’ interests into account not only helps them, it also helps us. Warm-heartedness and concern for others are a part of human nature and are at the core of positive human values.”
Referring to the 20th century as an era of bloodshed, the Dalai Lama said all problems and conflicts must be resolved through peaceful ways and dialogue.
“Non-violence doesn’t mean we have to passively accept injustice. We have to fight for our rights. We have to oppose injustice, because not to do so would be a form of violence,” the Tibetan spiritual leader said. “Gandhi-ji fervently promoted non-violence, but that didn’t mean he was complacently accepting of the status quo; he resisted, but he did so without doing harm.”