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Dalai Lama: 'Refugees must go back to their land... Keep Europe for Europeans.'

In an extraordinary candid and frank interview to the BBC, his holiness the Dalai Lama has doubled down on his past statements regarding Trump, Europe and refugees. The Buddhist spiritual leader, who has been living as a refugee in India since fleeing Tibet in 1959, told the BBC that only a “limited number” of migrants should be permitted to reside in Europe. The 83-year-old said Europe should take in refugees and offer them an education, but then send them back to their homelands. “European countries should take these refugees and give them education and training, then the aim is return to their own land,” he said. Asked what was wrong with the scenario of Europe becoming Muslim or African, he said: “They themselves I think better to their own land. Keep Europe for Europeans.” This was not the first time the Tibetan leader has voiced these opinions. In a speech last year in Malmo, Sweden, the Dalai Lama reiterated that migrants should not stay in Europe but should return to help rebuild their own countries.“Receive them, help them, educate them, but ultimately they should develop their own country,” he said at the time. “I think Europe belongs to the Europeans.”

The Dalai Lama doesn't say and repeat these things because he's a “racist” or a “far right fascist” but because he's a refugee himself, who sees the return to his ancestral lands in Tibet as the ideal and best possible solution for him and his fellow Tibetans who are living in exile. A reminder to those who forgot, Tibet has been under brutal Chinese occupation for the last 67 years, an occupation that claimed the lives of around 1.2 million Tibetans — over 20% of the country’s pre-occupation population— which have died as a result of the Chinese occupation and subsequent repressive policies in Tibet. But thanks to Chinese economic and diplomatic preassure, not to say outright extortion, the world seems to forgot about the ongoing Chinese brutal occupation of Tibet.

The Dalai Lama also went on to criticise the US president in the interview. Asked about the US president, whom the Tibetan spiritual leader has previously unflatteringly impersonated, he said: “His emotions [are] also a little bit,” and made a gesture waggling his finger near his temple. “One day he says something, another day he says something. But I think [there is a] lack of moral principle. When he became president, he expressed America first. That is wrong. America, they should take the global responsibility.”

The Tibetan spiritual leader also told the BBC that he had not given up hope of returning to Tibet - and repeated controversial views that if his successor is a woman, she should be "attractive".


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