Dalai Lama attacks 'self-centred' Vladimir Putin



**Dalai Lama attacks ‘self-centred’ Vladimir Putin

Dalai Lama states Vladimir Putin is “self-centred” and wants to “rebuild the Berlin Wall” as Ukraine’s Orthodox Church head claims Russian leader is possessed by Satan**

Telegraph - Vladimir Putin came under attack by religious leaders on Sunday, with the Dalai Lama describing him as “self-centred” and the head of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church claiming the Russian preisdent is possessed by Satan.

The Dalai Lama, in an interview with a German newspaper, pointed out that Mr Putin had served as Russian president, then prime minister and then president again.

“That’s a bit too much,” he told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. “This is very self-centred.” “His attitude is: ‘I, I, I’,” Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader explained.

Referring to the ongoing Ukraine crisis, the Dalai Lama said: "We had become accustomed (to the fact) that the Berlin Wall has fallen.

“Now President Putin seems to want to rebuild it. But he is hurting his own country by doing this. Isolation is suicide for Russia.”


First off, I’d like to make it clear that I am deeply fond of the Dalai Lama; he seems like a good person to me. But make no mistake about it, he is very far from a casual observer. He’s a political figure as much as a religious and spiritual one. I suspect a lot of Americans are unfamiliar with the Dalai Lama’s links to the CIA, which he’s been affiliated with since the late nineteen fifties. Of course, I don’t really blame him for that. I think he’s a man who would do anything to restore his people to their homeland, and America’s security services make an exceptionally powerful ally, evil or not. So, as lovable and charming as he is, when he harshly criticizes Vladimir Putin this way, he likely does so for murky, geo-political reasons.



My first thought, upon reading the headline, was “Why is the Dalai Lama opining on such matters?” My second thought was: “Why is his opinion on Putin newsworthy?”

I can’t answer the second question. However, I did visit the link to the original news article in the German-language newspaper *Welt am Sonntag *. I am not able to read German, so relied on Google Translate for a rough and ready English version. I mention this because I am sure I am missing some of the nuance in the original article.

Still, the original article opens with the Dalai Lama saying that he should not have a successor. He feels the institution of the Dalai Lama has become too political and it has outlived its usefulness. After this he talked about his personal wishes. This brought up the subject of China, which he considers to be making positive reforms. He is optimistic about the future. The article closes with a mention of Putin and Russia, which he feels are on the wrong track and going backwards.

My sense is that the Dalai Lama mentioned Putin (Russia) simply as a contrast to China and Xi Jinping. And the discussion of China was simply an outgrowth of a discussion of the Dalai Lama’s hopes for the future.

I mention all of this because the article cited in the first post turns the interview on its head. The Telegraph seems to suggest that the Dalai Lama was speaking primarily about Putin. However, my sense of the original article is that Putin was a side topic. Reading the Dalai Lama’s comments in context is probably valuable. I wish I could do that more fully. :frowning:

Here is the Welt am Sonntag article:

Here is a Google Translate rendering of WaS article:


Putin’s response may have been somewhat similar to Stalin’s response to a question about the Pope:

“How many divisions does the Dalai Lama have?”


I think the Dalai Lama is simply wary of big countries, i.e. like China did, taking over smaller countries.

How many self-immolations?


The Dalai Lama is a man of nonviolence which is all well and good but how has that worked out for Tibet?


Exactly, it was an interview and then one statement may be taken out of context per the name of this thread.

His Holiness, the Dalai Lama nonetheless is an ambassador for peace around the world.


For Tibetans, violence was never a winning option either.
China wanted Tibet, and China has swallowed up Tibet now. The dominant culture of Tibet is no longer Tibetan, but Chinese.

Violence would have only meant that Tibetans would have been turned into corpses rather than good patriotic Chinese citizens.

Either way, Tibet loses, and China wins.

The Dalai Lama only stands as a reminder of what the world has lost.


It’s both interesting and sad that the Dalai Lama says he will be the very last Dalai Lama. I think it speaks well of him, but it’s also something being forced on him, really. China has openly declared that it will decide who the next new born infant reincarnation of the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan monks will be!
China’s authoritarianism even extends beyond the grave, which is a particularly monstrous tactic, when you think about it.:frowning: They’ve in effect hijacked an entire religious tradition!


The Dalai Lama was against war in Iraq as well: asiantribune.com/news/2003/01/16/dalai-lama-against-thrusting-war-iraq

Though I found contrary articles on the internet, it may be a bit more complex of an issue to the Dalai Lama.

Also complex is whom the future Dalai Lama will be. It is discussed here,
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalai_Lama#Future_of_the_position .

I don’t deny the government of the People’s Republic of China has tried to decide the issue, Haven’t they also tried to decide leaders of the Catholic Church as well?


Yes. There is an official and a non-official Catholic Church in China, with the official church leaders appointed by the Chinese government, much as what once happened in medeival Europe, I think.
The position of Catholics who answer to the Vatican is precarious. I think the current pope is holding out an olive branch.


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