By Tenzin Monlam
His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaking to the youth peace leaders at his residence in Dharamshala, on May 3, 2016.
DHARAMSHALA, May 3: The Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama today stressed the importance of developing sense of oneness and internal disarmament during an interaction and exchange with 28 youth peace leaders from 14 countries at the Gaden Phodrang, the office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamshala.
Organized by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), most of the youth peace leaders, in their 20s and early 30s, attending the 2-day symposium belong to nations torn by conflict, war and violent extremism. Specially invited by the Dalai Lama, Dr. Syed Zafar Mahmood and Sheikhul Mashaeikh Dewan Syed Zainul Abedin Ali Khan, also attended the symposium.
Emphasizing his commitment to develop sense of oneness among all seven billion human beings, the Dalai Lama said, “My nation and my religious faith are secondary level of differences and many of our problems are caused by it. The only remedy is if we go into a deeper level, we all are same human being, including the few troublemakers.”
In order to demilitarize the world or external disarmament, firstly adopting internal disarmament is very essential. Without internal disarmament, getting rid of all the negative emotions that result in violence, it is difficult to achieve disarmament, he said while urging that unlike previous century, this century must be a ‘century of peace’.
His Holiness also referred the idea of western civilization versus Islamic world as dangerous view based on misunderstanding. He recalled his statement given at a 9/11 commemorations where he said that few mischievous Muslims would never represent the whole tradition and generalizing Islam is totally wrong.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama being presented a souvenir before the start of the 2-day symposium by Sheikhul Mashaeikh Dewan Syed Zainul Abedin Ali Khan.
The Tibetan leader urged the youth leaders from Arab countries to make effort to build a genuine harmony and also organize interfaith meeting. “If possible invite the so-called terrorist, who are still human beings. They also appreciate human love. Due to certain factor, at the moment their anger is dominant over their mind. If we reply anger with anger, things will get worse. The only way to cool down an angry face is through smile,” he said.
“Though it is one religion, one Islam, one Afghan people. Still there are fights and wars among them and there is something wrong with spreading of love messages. So the message I am going to carry is to spread love,” said Mariam from Afghanistan who also questioned why her country could not live peacefully when a diverse country like India can with many coexisting religions.
Didas from Kenya said that after going back he would like to have such forum at national and grass root levels with various leaders of different religious backgrounds to see how they can work together as people of diverse religious background to promote peace.
“We opted to engage with His Holiness in this exchange because of his own message as a peace builder and the experiences he had as young person serving as a leader in his community and responding to a situation of conflict with non violence. Also serving as an inspiration for others,” said Susan Hayward, Director of Religion and Inclusive Societies, USIP.
USIP is a US-based independent, nonpartisan institution and the youth peace leaders act as peace builder of their communities by mediating in conflicts and training others, helping refugee communities; and documenting human rights violations and war crimes.