TIBETAN spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has said that Buddha would “definitely” have helped Muslims, in relation to violence against the Rohingya minority in the restive Rakhine State of Burma (Myanmar).
“Those people you see who, sort of harassing some Muslims then they should remember Buddha in such circumstances, Buddha helping. Definitely help to those poor Muslims,” said the Dalai Lama on Sunday. Burma’s population is almost 90 percent Buddhist.
“So still I feel that, so very sad. Very sad,” he added.
The Dalai Lama has said the Buddha would have helped Muslims in Myanmar. pic.twitter.com/Q63ca4U8HJ
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) September 10, 2017
Burma’s northern Rakhine has seen renewed violence after the militant group known as the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) reportedly unleashed attacks at around 30 police posts with homemade explosives, knives and sticks on Aug 25.
More than 270,000 Rohingya have fled into Bangladesh in just a matter of weeks, according to the United Nations.
The Dalai Lama’s comments join an increasingly long list of prominent figures who have called for an end to violence and persecution against Rohingya Muslims.
Pope Francis has long been a vocal advocate for the Rohingya, and earlier this month confirmed a trip to Burma and Bangladesh in November.
Pope Francis urges full human rights be given to the persecuted Rohingya minority, which is now facing genocide. pic.twitter.com/EAMGfhFSrV
— Dr. Craig Considine (@CraigCons) September 9, 2017
Fellow Nobel laureates have also come out to call upon Aung San Suu Kyi to speak out and act to protect Rohingya.
Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai last week wrote to Suu Kyi stating the “world is waiting” for Suu Kyi to condemn “tragic and shameful” violence in the Rakhine.
— Malala (@Malala) September 3, 2017
Last week, South African former bishop and Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu published an open letter to Aung San Suu Kyi to express his “profound sadness” about the plight of the Rohingya in Burma.
He said for years he had kept a photo of her on his desk as a reminder of the injustice and sacrifices Suu Kyi had faced as a result of her “love and commitment” for the people of Burma.
— DesmondTutu Official (@TheDesmondTutu) September 7, 2017
“If the political price of your ascension to the highest office in Myanmar is your silence, the price is surely too steep,” wrote Tutu.
“A country that is not at peace with itself, that fails to acknowledge and protect the dignity and worth of all its people, is not a free country.”