Join our Mailing List

"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Dalai Lama hits East's consumer craze

November 26, 2007


Staff writer
Japan Times

The Dalai Lama indicated Monday in an interview that he had set a 
budding democratic process in motion in Tibet that was effectively 
doomed by China's invasion in the early 1950s.

"Even when I was in Tibet around 1952, I started some changes that 
were the beginning of democratization," he said.

Now he sees rampant development and consumerism taking place in China 
and India, and worries about future global shortages if the two 
nations' combined populations continue their unrealistic and 
unbridled pursuit of material wealth.

"Imagine what will happen if the 2 billion people who live in India 
and China acquire a typical American lifestyle. Each family will 
probably have two or three cars," the Dalai Lama said. "Just think 
what kind of pollution this will create and the strain it will put on 
natural resources."

The Tibetan spiritual leader, on his 11th visit to Japan, touched on 
various issues, including his semiretirement, during the interview 
aboard a bullet train.

The government has avoided contact with the Dalai Lama during his 10-
day stay and is not providing him with security, in keeping with its 
policy of not trying to upset China.

The Dalai Lama said he has been semi-retired since 2001, when the 
Tibetan government-in-exile's political leadership, in India, was 
chosen for the first time as part of elections that are set to take 
place every five years.

When asked for remarks regarding the movement of some circles in 
Japan to amend the Constitution's war-renouncing Article 9, he 
declined comment, saying such matters are for the government. 
However, he reiterated his opposition to all wars and said he dreams 
of a completely demilitarized world.

Although this may not be realistic in our lifetime, he said, it is 
important to work toward a blueprint for the future.

Scheduled to give lectures to students at two private schools in 
Tokyo, the Dalai Lama will also give a talk Tuesday in Yokohama at 
the 50th anniversary gathering of the Japan Buddhist Federation, the 
party that invited him to Japan.

On Saturday and Sunday, he participated in the inaugural Ise 
Interfaith Forum at Kogakkan University in Ise, Mie Prefecture.

While there, he also paid his respects at Ise Shrine, which is 
revered as the most important of the almost 90,000 Shinto shrines 
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
Developed by plank