By Tenzin Dharpo
Exchange between youth leaders from USIP and the Dalai Lama at Dharamshala on Oct. 24, 2018. Phayul photo-Kunsang Gashon
DHARAMSHALA, Oct. 24: Exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama told a visiting group of youth that even anger with sincere motivation will breed counter violence, during a dialogue at his residence here on Wednesday. The Tibetan peace icon was speaking at the exchange initiative organized by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) for youth leaders from conflict zones around the world.
28 youth leaders from 14 countries suffering from conflict and war including Syria, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Venezuela, Nigeria, Somalia, Libya, South Sudan, Tunisia, Iraq, Columbia, India, US and Central African Republic participated in the exchange where participants share personal tragedies and peace-building efforts in their homeland.
The Dalai Lama said that with the interdependency among nations and people growing due to global economy and climate change issues, there is more basis for striving for the oneness of humanity.
Kangi from Central African Republic said that he felt extreme sense of revenge as he witnessed the loss of his younger brother, uncle and grand father to civil war involving the government, rebels from the Séléka coalition and the Anti-balaka militias. Fellow participant Sarra from Syria said that she now does not have a place to call home in her war torn country and that she fears her trauma will make her lose the ability to empathise the pain of other victims of violence.
The Dalai Lama meets and interacts youth leaders at his residence in Dharamshala on Oct. 24, 2018. Phayul photo-Kunsang Gashon
The octogenarian Tibetan leader in response said, “Your tragedies should not let you turn pessimistic but rather it should translate into more determination and enthusiasm to work for peace.” The Dalai Lama said he can relate to the experiences of the group of youths, in that he lost his own freedom and country at a young age and have been living as a refugee for majority of his life in India.
He also said that only holistic education that pairs modern knowledge with measures to tackle emotional wellbeing will help to mitigate the hatred. “If I have miracle powers then I can do something. Without that, just pray,” the Tibetan leader jested.
The exchange initiative by USIP began in 2016 and have since brought three batches of youth leaders to Dharamshala to meet the Tibetan leader, considered widely as a voice of peace and reconciliation.
The dialogue with the Dalai Lama will help the youngsters to build practical skills and personal resilience when they work against the tensions or violence in their homelands, the US Congress funded institution said.