The Dalai Lama, told an audience that ‘Europe belongs to the Europeans’ and that refugees should return to their native countries to rebuild them.
Speaking at a conference in Sweden’s third-largest city of Malmö on Wednesday, home to a large immigrant population, the Tibetan spiritual leader, said Europe was ‘morally responsible’ for helping ‘a refugee really facing danger against their life’.
The 83-year-old Tibetan, who fled the capital Lhasa in fear of his life after China poured troops into the region to crush an uprising said: ‘Receive them, help them, educate them… but ultimately they should develop their own country.
The Dalai Lama was speaking at a conference called ‘The Art of Happiness and Peace’ in Sweden’s third-largest city of Malmö on September 12 when he told the audience ‘Europe belongs to Europeans’ and that refugees should eventually return back to their native countries to rebuild them
‘I think Europe belongs to the Europeans,’ he said, adding they should make clear to refugees that ‘they ultimately should rebuild their own country’.
Revered by millions of Buddhists around the world, and regarded by his many supporters as a visionary in the vein of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, the Dalai Lama was speaking three days after the far-right populist party Sweden Democrats made gains in the country’s general election on Sunday.
The anti-immigration party came in third, behind Prime Minister Stefan Lofven’s Social Democrats and the opposition conservative Moderates in the Nordic nation which in 2015 took in the highest number of asylum seekers per capita in Europe.
The Tibetan spiritual leader, said Europe was ‘morally responsible’ for helping ‘a refugee really facing danger against their life’
With 17.6 per cent of votes, up 4.7 points from the 2014 election, the rise is not as dramatic as the increase the party saw between 2010 and 2014, which saw a 7.2 point increase for the party.
It also falls short of the expectation ’20 to 30 percent’ leader Jimmie Åkesson had for his party.
However head of the party’s parliamentary group Mattias Karlsson, said polling institutes had simply overcompensated the Sweden Democrats after largely underestimated them in previous elections.
The exiled spiritual leader was speaking three days after the far-right populist party Sweden Democrats made gains in the country’s general election on Sunday. The anti-immigration party came in third, behind Prime Minister Stefan Lofven’s Social Democrats. Pictured: Dalai Lama and development NGO IM’s Secretary General Ann Svensn
He told AFP: ‘All parties want to be as big as possible but we are the big winners of the election.
The exiled spiritual leader, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, has also made similar comments concerning refugees in Germany in 2016.
Speaking to German reporters in 2016 he said: ‘Europe, for example Germany, cannot become an Arab country.
‘Germany is Germany. There are so many that in practice it becomes difficult.
‘From a moral point of view, too, I think that the refugees should only be admitted temporarily.’
He later clarified his compassion for those fleeing war and refugees but said they should be helped in order to return to their homes.
The Dalai Lama has remained in exile since 1959, when he fled the national uprising in Tibet and crossed the border into India, where he was granted political asylum.