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Dalai Lama visits the Netherlands

June 5, 2009

Expatica Netherlands

June 4, 2009


Photos of the Dalai Lama are published on most newspapers’ front pages this morning. De Telegraaf reports that his security was tightened after internet threats from the “Chinese corner” and de Volkskrant stresses that the Buddhist spiritual leader’s visit is not a political one.


In a press conference, the Dalai Lama played down Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende’s refusal to meet him calling it “no problem”. Instead, he will meet foreign minister Maxime Verhagen and make an appearance in parliament. The paper quotes the Nobel Prize winner clad in red and yellow robes: “I’ve only come to sell my smile.”


Trouw takes on the Dalai Lama’s critics who say Buddhists are not totally non-violent, the Dalai Lama is anti-homosexual and negative about women by interviewing Buddhist scholar Rob Hogendoorn.


Hogendoorn points out that the criticisms are based on clichés. “His tradition has conservative views, but as a person he is progressive.”


The final criticism is that after 50 years in exile he has done nothing for the Tibetans. Theologian Freek Bakker said while the Dalai Lama may not have achieved his goal of more autonomy in Tibet, he has certainly brought the plight of Tibetans to the attention of the world and promoted Buddhism in the West.

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