LADAKH – Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has decried the recent Buddhist attacks against Muslims in Burma and Sri Lanka, appealing to his followers to stop violence against the religious minority.
“I urge the Buddhists in these countries to imagine an image of Buddha before they commit such a crime,” the Dalai Lama said on the outskirts of Leh, high in the Himalayas, Agence France Presse (AFP) reported on Sunday, July 6.
“Buddha preaches love and compassion. If the Buddha is there, he will protect the Muslims whom the Buddhists are attacking.”
Muslims in Burma and Sri Lanka have been facing repeated attacks by Buddhists in recent months.
Hundreds of thousands of Muslims have been forced to flee their homes in western Burma since 2012 after attacks from Buddhist mobs on their areas.
Last week, hundreds of knife wielding extremist Buddhists accompanied with 30 monks attacked a Muslim-majority area in Burma's Mandalay.
The attacks that left several injured and Muslims' properties ransacked posed as a new challenge for the government promises of political reforms.
In June, at least three Sri Lanka Muslims were killed in an extremist Buddhists attacks on in the popular coastal towns of Aluthgama and Beruwala.
Last year, Sri Lanka has been thrown into tension following a string of serious incidents involving extremist Buddhist provocations against Muslims.
The exiled Tibetan leader's remarks were made during celebrating his 79 th birthday that was attended by prominent figures like the US actor Richard Gere.
The Spiritual leader has also condemned the ongoing violence between the armed Muslim militants in the Middle East.
The Dalai Lama has no authority over Buddhists in Sri Lanka or Burma who follow a different branch of Buddhism called Theravada.
China brands the Dalai Lama, who fled into exile to India in 1959 after an abortive uprising against Chinese rule of Tibet, as a separatist.
The Dalai Lama says he is merely seeking more autonomy for his Himalayan homeland.
This is not the first time The Dalai Lama speaks in the defense of Islam and Muslims against the stereotypes of the religion.
Last year, the Dalai Lama has sent a new outcry to Buddhist monks to stop prosecuting Burma Muslims, urging them to adhere to ‘Buddhist principles’.
In 2012, he called for not judging Islam from the practices of some individuals, calling for promoting harmony between followers of different religions.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here
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