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Dalai Lama condemns Buddhist violence against Muslims

Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama holds a speech at University of Maryland, US on May 7, 2013.

May 8, 2013

Tibetan spiritual
leader the Dalai Lama has condemned extremist Buddhist monks’ attacks on
Rohingya Muslims in the Southeast Asian country of Myanmar.
During a speech at
the University of Maryland on Tuesday, the Dalai Lama said killing in the name
of religion was “unthinkable.”
“I think it is
very sad,” said Dalai Lama, adding, “I pray for them (the monks) to
think of the face of Buddha,” who had been a protector of Muslims.
He continued by
saying that the root of seemingly sectarian conflict was political, not
This comes as
hundreds of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar are believed to have been killed and
thousands others displaced in recent attacks by extremists who call themselves
The extremists
frequently attack Rohingyas and have set fire to their homes in several
villages in Rakhine. Myanmar army forces allegedly provide the fanatics
containers of petrol for torching the houses of Muslim villagers, who are then
forced to flee.
Meanwhile, the
Myanmar government has been accused of failing to protect the Muslim minority.
About 800,000
Rohingyas in the western state of Rakhine are deprived of citizenship rights
due to the policy of discrimination that has denied them the right of
citizenship and made them vulnerable to acts of violence and persecution,
expulsion, and displacement.
So far, the Myanmar
government has refused to extricate the stateless Rohingyas from their
citizenship limbo, despite international pressure to give them a legal status.
In addition, the
country’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has come under fire for her stance
on the violence. The Nobel Peace laureate has refused to censure the Myanmar
military for its persecution of the Rohingyas.