‘Europe belongs to the Europeans,’ according to the Dalai Lama, who told a crowd of refugees in Sweden that they should return to their native countries to rebuild them and make them great.
Speaking at a conference in Sweden’s third-largest city of Malmö on Wednesday, home to a large immigrant population, the Dalai Lama struck a very different tone to Pope Francis, who has used his position to advocate for open borders in Europe and the United States.
Arguing passionately that Europe must not let itself become overrun with people from different cultures, the Dali Lama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, said Europe runs the risk of losing its culture and identity if it continues with its disastrous open border policies.
The 83-year-old Tibetan, who fled his country in fear of his life after China launched a military campaign to crush an uprising said: ‘Receive them, help them, educate them… but ultimately they should develop their own country.
‘I think Europe belongs to the Europeans,’ he said, adding they should make clear to refugees that ‘they ultimately should rebuild their own country‘.
MailOnline reports: Revered by millions of Buddhists around the world, and regarded by his many supporters as a visionary in the vein of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, the Dalai Lama was speaking three days after the far-right populist party Sweden Democrats made gains in the country’s general election on Sunday.
The anti-immigration party came in third, behind Prime Minister Stefan Lofven’s Social Democrats and the opposition conservative Moderates in the Nordic nation which in 2015 took in the highest number of asylum seekers per capita in Europe.
With 17.6 per cent of votes, up 4.7 points from the 2014 election, the rise is not as dramatic as the increase the party saw between 2010 and 2014, which saw a 7.2 point increase for the party.
It also falls short of the expectation ’20 to 30 per cent’ leader Jimmie Åkesson had for his party.
However head of the party’s parliamentary group, Mattias Karlsson, said polling institutes had simply overcompensated the Sweden Democrats after largely underestimated them in previous elections.
He told AFP: ‘All parties want to be as big as possible but we are the big winners of the election.
The exiled spiritual leader, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, has also made similar comments concerning refugees in Germany in 2016.
Speaking to German reporters in 2016 he said: ‘Europe, for example Germany, cannot become an Arab country.
‘Germany is Germany. There are so many that in practice it becomes difficult.
‘From a moral point of view, too, I think that the refugees should only be admitted temporarily.’
He later clarified his compassion for those fleeing war and refugees but said they should be helped in order to return to their homes.
The Dalai Lama has remained in exile since 1959, when he fled the national uprising in Tibet and crossed the border into India, where he was granted political asylum.