The Dalai Lama on Tuesday urged Myanmar monks to act according to their Buddhist principles, in a plea to end the deadly violence against the country’s Muslim minority.
“Those Burmese monks, please, when they develop some kind of anger towards Muslim brothers and sisters, please, remember the Buddhist faith,” the Buddhist leader told reporters at an annual human rights conference in the Czech capital Prague.
“I am sure (…) that would protect those Muslim brothers and sisters who are becoming victims,” Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader said.
Sectarian clashes in Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine last year left around 200 people dead — mostly Rohingya Muslims who are denied citizenship — and 140,000 others homeless.
Having earned scorn for her failure to clearly condemn the violence, Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s pro-democracy icon turned opposition leader, said last week she alone could not stop it.
Suu Kyi, who spent 15 years under house arrest under military rule in Myanmar before she was freed after controversial elections in 2010, said the solution was to install the rule of law.
“It’s not something that I could learn to do, but I think what this whole society has to strive to do,” she told reporters in Warsaw before heading to the Prague conference via Budapest.
“We need rule of law in order that our people may feel secure and only secure people can talk to one another and try to establish the kind of relationship that will assure harmony for the future of our nation.”
The Dalai Lama, 78, who fled his homeland for India in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule, also said there was “too much emphasis on ‘we’ and ‘they’” in the world, and that “this century should be a century of dialogue, not wars”.
He and the 68-year-old Suu Kyi, both Nobel Peace laureates, met privately on the fringes of the Prague conference on Sunday.