Speaking after Swedish elections
The 14th Dalai Lama spoke to an audience in Malmö, days after an election in Sweden, during which the far-right Swedish Democrats made significant electoral gains despite ultimately being defeated. In 2015, Sweden took in the highest number of asylum seekers per capita in Europe, and Malmö itself has a large immigrant population.
The Dalai Lama, a spiritual leader of the Tibetan people and a major figure in Buddhism, fled Tibet in 1959 after an uprising, in which Tibetans protested Chinese restrictions on their autonomy. He fled the capital city of Lhasa as Chinese troops poured into the country to quash the protests.
He has lived in exile in India ever since, and has helped to re-establish approximately 80,000 Tibetan refugees who followed him into exile since then. He has won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work supporting Tibetans and appealing for their rights.
This is not the Dalai Lama’s first brush with controversy when it comes to the refugee crisis. In 2016, he told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that there were “too many refugees” in Europe and that Germany “cannot become an Arab country.”
He has just stopped in Rotterdam in The Netherlands and he will next visit Darmstadt and Heidelberg in Germany on his way to Switzerland.
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