(TibetanReview.net, Nov08, 2017) – A total of 25 youths from 15 countries, including Afghanistan, Burma, Colombia, Iraq, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and the USA, took part in a two-day dialogue forum with the Dalai Lama at his Dharamshala residence beginning Nov 6. It was the second year the event took place under the aegis of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), a non-partisan federal institution based in Washington, DC.
With guidance by USIP President Nancy Lindborg, the participating youth leaders summarized the work they were each doing and asked questions on them to the Dalai Lama.
Many of the participants had firsthand experience of violence and conflict in their home regions and shared stories from the ongoing struggles there. These included events which occurred in the aftermaths of Sudan’s political division and during the ongoing Rohingya Muslim refugee crisis, about the Boko Haram terror and the ongoing tragedy in war-ravaged Afghanistan which constitute the most recent memories of conflicts in the current world.
The Dalai Lama lauded the youths for their courage and resolve and for having chosen peace and reconciliation when violence could have been reactionary and in some cases an easy option. He expressed confidence that through education and collective efforts to counter age-old orthodoxies such as feudalism and so-called traditions, the problems could be gradually overcome.
The Dalai Lama explained that praying to Buddha, Allah or god alone was not the solution to problems afflicting the world today. “There is a sound basis to develop optimism through awareness, human intelligence and analysis and looking at a crisis from a holistic point of view and push through for a more compassionate world,” he told the forum.
On the question of religious faith and identity and the trouble they can cause, the Dalai Lama pointed out that in terms of personal conduct and practice it was fine to think of one truth and one faith. However, when dealing with the community in the wider world, it was necessary to recognize a multitude of faiths and various aspects of the truth.