By Tenzin Dharpo
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet addresses over 3000 Tibetans at Palais des Congrès (Congress Palace) in Paris, France. 13 September 2016. Phayul Photo/ Norbu Wangyal
DHARAMSHALA, Sept 14: The Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama currently in Paris, France yesterday told the press that the ‘middle way approach’ continues to be a viable means to resolve the Tibetan issue. Speaking to representatives from Agence France-Presse, Le Croix (Christian Daily News) and Le Point (a weekly news magazine) during a joint interview, the Dalai Lama said, “The days of victory for one side and complete defeat of the other are over. What we need is reconciliation, otherwise we’ll not succeed.”
Asked if he would like to meet the current Pope, the Buddhist leader responded that he had reached out to meet every pontiff since 1973 although it hasn’t happened this time around.
Commenting on the much-discussed issue of refugee crisis in Europe, he said, “We Tibetans took refuge in India and other countries but our long-term goal is to return to Tibet. People from Africa and the Middle East deserve to be given opportunity. The innocent and vulnerable, especially children need temporary shelter. Children need education and youth need training so that when they eventually return they can help rebuild their countries.”
The octogenarian spiritual leader added, “Our future is dependent on the rest of the world, so we need a more vivid sense of the oneness of all 7 billion human beings alive today, a sense that we all belong to one human family.”
The same day, the Tibetan leader made visits to the Maison des Avocats, a French Bar Council event as well as a public talk for Tibetans living in the country at Palais du Congres where more than 3100 Tibetans had congregated to meet the Tibetan leader. He told the largely Tibetan gathering,” We’ve been in exile 57 years and it is crucial we keep our identity and culture alive not simply out of attachment, but because aspects of our culture can benefit the world.”