Floods a lesson in ecology for U.S. govt. - Dalai Lama

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, speaks at a press conference in the City Hotel yesterday morning. DER3717GS008
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, speaks at a press conference in the City Hotel yesterday morning. DER3717GS008

The Dalai Lama has said the floods across the US is a lesson for the government there about the importance of ecology.

The Dalai Lama was responding after being asked whether he had anything to say to President Trump during a press conference in Derry on Monday.

He responded: “I don’t know. His view about ecology, he does not consider it important. With that, I disagree.

“Now I think America learning lessons on the importance of ecology, with, on the east coast of America, flood, on the west coast of America, [wild] fire.

“I think there’s a lesson how important ecology is,” he added.

Later, the Dalai Lama said that the withdrawal of America from the Paris Climate Agreement was “quite sad”.

He said America as “the most industrialised nation and leading nation of free world should take more active responsibility regarding ecology”.

Turning to other matters, he spoke of how President George W Bush’s invasion of Iraq was an example of how use of massive military force only led to more problems.

“It is quite sad, still selling more weapons and people still consider force as one important instrument to solve some problem,” he said.

“The reality is it is the source of further problems. So therefore to achieve a peaceful century we should make this century a century of dialogue.”

The Dalai Lama said he sheds a tear when he sees the poverty some children in the world are living in, including those facing starvation in Yemen and some parts of Africa, as well as for the Burmese Muslim community, saying that their physical condition shows how much they have suffered.

“These are human beings’ creation, not a natural disaster,” he said. “We ourselves create such suffering on other human brothers and sisters, including children, women. When I see these things I really feel very sad.”

On the North Korea crisis, he said that he believed some of those at the helm “do not use common sense,” and added that there was a real need for people to work towards nuclear disarmament.

“We must take seriously and make efforts step-by-step towards a nuclear free world,” he said.

“Eventually I think this world should be a de-militarised world. Within my life-time we will not achieve it.”

He said he was not very familiar with the current political situation in Northern Ireland, but linked it to the wider global political situation.

“I do not know detail of your situation but overall my belief is world belongs to seven billion human beings,” he said.

“Each country belongs to the people so ultimately people’s voice, people’s desire is the key..... so future of Northern Ireland is down to people.”

He also cautioned against involving too much emotion as this leads to a situation where “you can’t see clearly”.

“Calm mind, try to look at situation realistically. That’s important, not just in Northern Ireland.”

Earlier at the press conference at the City Hotel, he also spoke about how vital an uncensored media is for the world today, and how important it was that individual journalists as human beings help to make the world a better, more compassionate place.