Dalai Lama is a “deceptive actor” and not just a political exile, thinks China’s Foreign Ministry after the Dalai Lama said in his interview with American comedian John Oliver that Chinese leadership have parts of their brains missing.
— Religion NewsService (@RNS) March 13, 2017
The Dalai Lama’s interview with Oliver sparked a furious response in the Chinese government, which says the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader’s interview is evidence that he’s “very good at performing very deceptively.”
The Dalai Lama, who has lived in exile from Tibet for over 50 years, is branded by the Chinese government as a dangerous anti-Chinese separatist. During his interview with Oliver, the Dalai Lama hinted that he may not reincarnate and said that some members of the Chinese government have parts of their brains missing.
China’s Foreign Ministry apparently didn’t like the Dalai Lama’s harsh comments, as spokesperson Geng Shuang called the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader a “deceptive actor,” and stressed that his comments appeared “humorous and funny” and not in line with the facts.
Geng reiterated the Chinese government’s opinion that the Dalai Lama is a political exile who “engages in anti-China separatist activities.” The Tibetan spiritual leader fled into exile in India after a failed coup against the Chinese government in 1959.
The Dalai Lama has repeatedly denied China’s claims of encouraging violence against the Chinese and said his only mission is to achieve genuine autonomy for Tibet.
— Jolq Benavides (@JolqBenavides) March 20, 2017
Despite having a bad reputation in China, the Dalai Lama is a very respected figure in the United States. Many celebrities have met with the Buddhist leader over the past decades. Sitting down for an interview with the Dalai Lama in India’s Dharamsala, Oliver called the 81-year-old the original “woke bae.” The two had plenty to talk about, including the ongoing controversy surrounding the Dalai Lama’s future reincarnation.
The Last Week Tonight host opened the interview by telling the Dalai Lama something that he has known for decades, that the Chinese government “absolutely hates” him.
But the Dalai Lama – in his signature manner – decided to respond with genuine kindness. The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader laughed at the fact that he’s being called a “demon” within the Chinese government.
The Dalai Lama made it clear that he doesn’t let the negativity emanating from China’s officials towards him get under his skin.
“Whatever they want to say, that’s their freedom. I have no negative feeling. I just feel love.”
The Dalai Lama added that he practices taking suspicion and distrust from other people and giving them “patience, tolerance and compassion” in return.
“I practice that.”
Although many denounce the act of self-immolating, which sees Tibetans in Tibet and China set themselves on fire in a show of protest, the Dalai Lama refused to denounce the practice, saying that it would be an insult to the deceased and their families.
— Joanie Mann (@JoanieMann) March 17, 2017
Oliver also pressed the Dalai Lama to talk about reincarnation, one of the most controversial topics surrounding the Buddhist leader. The Dalai Lama once selected a 6-year-old boy as the Panchen Lama (who was supposed to go on a mission to find the reincarnated Dalai Lama after death), but the boy was reportedly kidnapped by the Chinese government.
The Dalai Lama suggested that he may not reincarnate at all, as the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader says it would make him feel “very happy” to be the last Dalai Lama.
Oliver suggested that in such a scenario the Chinese government could name their own Dalai Lama, and it would be someone who would agree to cooperate with China. But the 81-year-old Dalai Lama thinks it would be a “short-sighted” and “foolish act,” and was quick to add that the Chinese government is not “using the human brain properly.”
[Featured Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]