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The Dalai Lama thinks there are now “too many refugees in Europe”

Reuters/Denis Balibouse
A temporary fix?
By Aamna Mohdin
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

The Dalai Lama has weighed in on the refugee crisis, again, but with a far more skeptical tone.

The spiritual leader of the Buddhist faith told the German press (link in German) that there are “too many refugees in Europe,” warning that “Europe, and for example, Germany, cannot become an Arab country. Germany is Germany. There are so many that it becomes difficult.”

The Dalai Lama suggests that refugees can only be hosted in Europe on a temporary basis. “The goal should be to return them and help them to rebuild their own countries,” he explains.

He has previously called on world leaders to put interests of humanity first and praised both Austria’s and Germany’s response to the refugee crisis, the latter taking in more refugees in 2015 (around one million) than the US has in the past 10 years.

In the past, he has also urged European Union countries to not turn away refugees fleeing the war and persecution because they are Muslims, discouraging growing Islamophobia across Europe. He told German reporters that it’s “individuals and small groups who kill each other, they do not represent the entire Islam and all Muslims.”

The Dalai Lama is himself a refugee, having fled Chinese repression following the Tibetan uprising in 1959. Tens of thousands Tibetans followed the Dalai Lama to India in an exhausting 15-day journey on foot, from the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, over the Himalayan mountains.

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