The Dalai Lama has commented about the leadership of President Donald J. Trump, leveling criticism at him and concern over the future of the U.S. under his leadership. The comments, published Wednesday, include thoughts about nationalism and America’s history.
The 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, 82, says he’s “a simple Buddhist monk,” according to his official website. The spiritual leader of Tibet is known to be an advocate for non-violence, peace and human rights.
The Dalai Lama spoke about President Trump during a conference of Tibet supporters in northern India, according to The Washington Post.
“Your ancestors really considered the importance of liberty, freedom, democracy, these things,” he reportedly said. “The present president, in the very beginning, he mentioned ‘America first.’ That sounded in my ear not very nice.”
An environmental advocate, the Dalai Lama continued his criticisms when speaking of the Trump administration’s policies regarding global warming.
“The present president is not much-paying attention to ecology. So, on that, I feel some reservation,” he said, adding, “But, anyway, the American people elected him, so I must respect [that].”
The Dalai Lama spoke about then president-elect Donald Trump back in November. At the time, he said he had “no worries” about his leadership, and stated that he looked forward to meeting Trump.
President Trump has not yet met the Dalai Lama, despite efforts by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) to have the meeting scheduled.
About the Dalai Lama:
He was born on 6 July 1935, to a farming family, in a small hamlet located in Taktser, Amdo, northeastern Tibet. At the age of two, the child, then named Lhamo Dhondup, was recognized as the reincarnation of the previous 13th Dalai Lama, Thubten Gyatso.
The Dalai Lamas are believed by Tibetan Buddhists to be manifestations of Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig, the Bodhisattva of Compassion and the patron saint of Tibet. Bodhisattvas are realized beings, inspired by the wish to attain complete enlightenment, who have vowed to be reborn in the world to help all living beings.
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