Dalai Lama Wades Into Controversial Territory Once Again in Interview with BBC

In the interview, the Dalai Lama said Trump 'lacks moral principle', refugees should eventually return to their homeland, and that any future female Dalai Lama should be 'attractive'.

New Delhi: From criticising US president Donald Trump to expressing concern over Europe becoming a “Muslim country”, the Dalai Lama waded into controversial territory once again in an interview with British broadcaster BBC.

The Tibetan spiritual leader also reiterated his stand from 2015 that if his successor is a woman, she must be “very attractive, otherwise not much use”, sparking outrage on social media with several people calling him out for the sexist comment.

Laughing when asked if he understood why this notion had offended women, saying: “If [a] female Dalai Lama comes then she should be more attractive. If [a] female Dalai Lama, I think, [people would] prefer not [to] see her, that face.”

Responding to a question about Trump asked by interviewer Rajini Vaidyanathan, the Dalai Lama said that the US president has a “lack of moral principle” and should end the policy of “America First”.

“When he became president, he expressed America first. That is wrong. America should take global responsibility,” the spiritual leader said.

Trump, he said, is too “emotional” and “a little bit too complicated”.

On the issue of refugees, the world’s most famous refugee said that only a “limited number” should be allowed to stay, standing by his remark from last year where he said that “Europe is for Europeans”.

“The whole Europe (will) eventually become Muslim country? Impossible. Or African country? Also impossible,” he said.

He did add that the European Union should provide education and training for refugees but that they should then return to “their own land”.

“We forget the oneness of humanity,” the Dalai Lama said, in a response to rising intolerance across the world.

On living in India, where he has been in Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh for the past six decades, the Dalai Lama said he likes it since he can speak here freely that he would be able to in China.

According to an accompanying text piece “reflecting on the discussion” by Vaidyanathan, he added that India has also become his “spiritual home”.

Since the BBC has only released a three-minute video so far, many have criticised the video for its blunt cuts.

The full 20-minute interview will air on Saturday, June 29.

Vaidyanathan responded on Twitter to those accusing her of deliberately asking questions that were bound to stir a controversy.