Refugees fleeing brutal conflict in the Middle East should aspire to return home, the Dalai Lama has said.
In an interview with Piers Morgan, the Tibetan Buddhist leader, one of the world’s highest-profile political exiles, said those who have left to escape fighting and disorder in countries like Syria and Libya should focus on bringing peace to their homelands.
The plight of hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees fleeing violence in the Middle East and North Africa has become a major issue in Europe and the rest of the developed world over the past few years.
He was also happy to discuss lighter issues with Piers and posed for a selfie with the broadcaster, even tickling his chin.
The 81-year-old religious leader has been forced to live outside his own homeland since fleeing in 1959, 10 years after it was occupied by China.
Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, he said: ‘The main effort should go to help (their) own country bring peace, in Syria, Libya or even Afghanistan. Generally the people always feel, ‘oh, one day we return’.’
Host Piers asked him whether all refugees should ‘aspire to go back to their homeland’, to which he replied: ‘Yes. (They) should rebuild their own country.’
The Dalai Lama said that despite the current bloodshed the world is a ‘better place’ than in the past.
He also questioned the faith of Islamist terrorists, saying: ‘Genuine Muslim practitioners will not create bloodshed.
‘I think they (terrorists) have too much emotion, they should cool down.’
The spiritual leader also took time to discuss some lighter issues and even performed an impression of Donald Trump, making light-hearted fun of the US Predisential candidate for his hair and ‘very small mouth’.
He added he was ‘sad’ that the actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were divorcing, saying separations often badly affected children
The Hollywood couple, known collectively as Brangelina, married in 2014 after 10 years together and have six children – Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh, and twins Knox and Vivienne.
The Dalai Lama told GMB: ‘Sometimes in divorce people … the children they come closer to their father or mother. Sometimes it’s difficult.’
Piers said he was ‘fine’ with the Dalai Lama having 12million Twitter followers compared to his five million, but asked the Buddhist how he felt about Kim Kardashian having four times as many with 48million followers.
But the Dalai Lama brushed it off and said he had ‘no problem with it’.
He added: ‘If she has more followers…good. I think that such famous people have no ability to compete with my wisdom.’
The pair ended the interview by taking a selfie together, with Piers quipping that the Dalai Lama ‘could smile’ for the camera.
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