Dalai Lama urges Buddhists to stop violence against Muslims

DHARAMSHALA, JUNE 7: His Holiness the Dalai Lama on Sunday urged Buddhists in Myanmar and Sri Lanka to stop violence against Muslims.

“I urge the Buddhists in these countries to imagine an image of Buddha before they commit such a crime,” the Tibetan leader said in Leh where more than a hundred thousand devotees are attending the 33rd Kalachakra initiation by the Tibetan leader.

In the photo: His Holiness shakes hand with Richard Gere, Leh Ladakh, July 6, 2014/Phayul Photo/Kunsang Gashon

His Holiness the Dalai Lama said the violence in both Buddhist-majority countries targeting religious minority Muslims was unacceptable.

Reports say more than 70 police were just standing by and watching as a Buddhist mob set fire to a school and other buildings last week in a Muslim neighborhood of Mandalay , Myanmar’s second largest city.

Critics have also slammed Sri Lanka’s government for its failure to protect the country’s Muslim minority against Buddhist extremists. Last month, at least two Muslims were killed and dozens more injured in an attack by a hardline group known as Bodu Bala Sena, or the Buddhist Power Force.

The Tibetan leader considers promotion of religious harmony as one of his three main responsibilities. The Tibetan leader has also expressed his concern in the past over rising cases of violence against Buddhists. In 2012, Tibetan spiritual leader called the reports of gross human rights violations in Burma “very unfortunate”.

Hollywood actor Richard Gere greeted the Tibetan leader on stage, shaking his hand and praising the leader on behalf of several thousand foreign devotees who had gathered for the speech.

“I have been His Holiness’ student since 1974. I feel blessed that it is a time when His Holiness also walks this planet,” said Gere.

“His Holiness the Dalai Lama has changed lives, his presence has changed the vibrancy of this planet. We are fortunate to live at a time when he is here on this earth.”

Phayul,Monday, July 07, 2014

 

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