The spiritual leader of Tibet, the Dali Lama, told an audience in Sweden that refugees should return to their homelands to rebuild and that “Europe belongs to Europeans.”
His says his stance comes from a position of compassion, and he added that westerners have a “moral responsibility” to help refugees.
“Receive them, help them, educate them… but ultimately they should develop their own country,” he said. “I think Europe belongs to the Europeans.”
“They [refugees] ultimately should rebuild their own country.”
His words were delivered in Malmö just days after Sweden’s elections saw a right-wing political victory due to immigration being the chief issue among locals.
Correspondingly, during election season, Swedish officials have warned of parallel or “shadow” societies increasing among migrants and foreign nationals who refuse to assimilate.
The Dali Lama’s Wednesday speech on refugees and the policies surrounding them was not his first given to Europe.
In 2016, he stressed that refugee relocations should be a temporary arrangement and that Germany “cannot” become an Arab country.
“Germany is Germany,” he said. “…Germany, cannot become an Arab country.”
“From a moral point of view, too, I think that the refugees should only be admitted temporarily.”
The revered Buddist’s words are a stark contrast to the Pope’s refugee stance; who has urged nations to usher in migrants and refugees, regardless of national security concerns.