Dalai Lama says Bud­dha would have helped Myan­mar’s Mus­lims

The Miracle - - Special - S: dawn.com

The Dalai Lama has spo­ken out for the first time about the Ro­hingya refugee cri­sis, say­ing Bud­dha would have helped Mus­lims flee­ing vi­o­lence in Bud­dhist-ma­jor­ity Myan­mar. Hun­dreds of thou­sands of Ro­hingya have ar­rived in Bangladesh in re­cent weeks after vi­o­lence flared in neighbouring Myan­mar, where the state­less Mus­lim mi­nor­ity has en­dured decades of per­se­cu­tion. The top Bud­dhist leader is the lat­est No- bel peace lau­re­ate to speak out against the vi­o­lence, which the UN spe­cial rap­por­teur on hu­man rights in Myan­mar says may have killed more than 1,000 peo­ple, most of them Ro­hingya.“Those peo­ple who are sort of ha­rass­ing some Mus­lims, they should re­mem­ber Bud­dha,” the Dalai Lama told jour­nal­ists who asked him about the cri­sis on Fri­day evening.“He would def­i­nitely give help to those poor Mus­lims. So still I feel that. So very sad.”Myan­mar’s pop­u­la­tion is over­whelm­ingly Bud­dhist and there is wide­spread ha­tred for the Ro­hingya, who are de­nied cit­i­zen­ship and la­belled il­le­gal “Ben­gali” im­mi­grants. Bud­dhist na­tion­al­ists, led by fire­brand monks, have op­er­ated a long Is­lam­o­pho­bic cam­paign call­ing for them to be pushed out of the coun­try.Myan­mar’s de facto civil­ian leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been con­demned for her re- fusal to in­ter­vene in sup­port of the Ro­hingya, in­clud­ing by fel­low No­bel lau­re­ates Malala Yousafzai and Des­mond Tutu.Arch­bishop Tutu, who be­came the moral voice of South Africa after help­ing dis­man­tle apartheid there, last week urged her to speak out.“If the po­lit­i­cal price of your as­cen­sion to the high­est of­fice in Myan­mar is your si­lence, the price is surely too steep,” Tutu said in a state­ment.

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