Dalai Lama Pleads for Myanmar Monks to End Violence Amid Damning Rights Report


During his interview with ABC News, the Dalai Lama's tone and mood noticeably changed when the issue of Myanmar's ongoing violence was raised. While parts of the interview were jovial and filled with laughter, the Dalai Lama's tone became slow and somber when discussing Buddhist violence.

"We're in the 21st century" the Dalai Lama, 77, said.

"All problems must be solved through dialogue, through talk. The use of violence is outdated, and never solves problems."

Born Tenzin Gyatso in China's Qinghai province in 1935, the Dalai Lama has millions of followers spread primarily throughout China, Mongolia, India and the Himalayan mountain range. He does not have official contact with Burmese authorities, and unlike other religious leaders, does not have the power to issue an edict, or fatwa, demanding the violence come to an end.

Tibetan Buddhism flows from the Theravada school of Buddhism, the same denomination that is widely practiced in Myanmar, Thailand and much of Southeast Asia, though many of the rituals are different.

The Dalai Lama revealed that at the outset of the violence, he had spoken directly to Burmese pro-democracy activist and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Ski, asking her to intervene to help quell the violence.

Suu Kyi has been harshly criticized for failing to speak out on behalf of the Rohingyas. In April, critics pounced after she told a conference in Japan, "we must learn to accommodate those with different views from ours," saying the words amounted to lip service that were, in effect, too little too late.

Despite the criticism, the Dalai Lama remains hopeful that Suu Kyi can still intervene to solve the crisis.

"As a fellow Nobel laureate, I'm quite sure that behind the scenes, she can help," he said.

"I'm quite sure."

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