Xi "open-minded" and "realistic": Dalai

Last Updated 18 September 2014, 10:49 IST

As he engaged in talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping came in for praise from an unlikely quarter--exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama--who described him as "open-minded" and "realistic".

The Dalai Lama also said good Sino-Indian relations based on mutual trust will benefit not just Asia but the whole world.

"Sino-Indian relations (build) on the basis of mutual trust are very important. Not only the whole of Asia, but the entire world can benefit from their (good) relations. Harmony can be brought by trust and not fear.

"I have faith in the new leadership. He (Xi) is open-minded and his way of working is quite realistic," the 79-year-old Buddhist monk said while addressing a gathering here to mark the 108th Foundation Day of Indian Merchants' Chamber and its ladies' wing.

He said Xi should take lessons from "strong" Indian democratic practices and the "one-ness" in diversity.

"India is a vast country with a huge population. Different parts of the country speak different languages, yet there is a sense of one-ness among Indians.
Democracy is practised strongly in the country and there is a free media. The Chinese President should learn these values from Indians," he said.

On the contentious border issue, he said it should be resolved through understanding and not by use of force.

"Tibet's problem is also India's problem. Before 1950, there was not a single soldier on the northern border and it (the border) was peaceful. Sooner or later you have to solve the problem, not by force but by understanding. And understanding comes through talks," he said.

Reacting to the detention of Tibetans by police following their protest against Xi's visit, the Dalai Lama said," Tibetans are law abiding citizens. But the rest is upto the Government of India."

The Dalai Lama flayed massacre by ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria, saying it was "shocking" to see believers of Islam killing innocent people.

"A genuine practitioner of Islam will never indulge in bloodshed. Jihad is not about harming others. It is about killing one's negative emotions. It is shocking that the believers of Allah are mercilessly killing innocent people in Iraq," he said.

A Muslim should extend love to all creations of Allah and a genuine practitioner of the faith must be compassionate towards fellow human beings, he said.Too much attachment towards your own faith is a biased mental attitude that causes anger and violence, he said.

Praising India's religious accord, he said, "India's real treasure is its 3,000-year-old religious harmony. The Shia community feels much safer in India than in Pakistan."

He said there should be no discrimination between people on the basis of faith and that no God can help achieve peace of mind.

"We lay too much emphasis on secondary level of differences. Everyone should follow the religion of humanity. Indians worship many Gods but these Gods will never provide peace of mind. Peace has to be developed within one's own self," he said.

(Published 18 September 2014, 10:48 IST)

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