More than 80,000 Tibetans worldwide vote to choose new government-in-exile based in Indian city of Dharamsala.
Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama says he has “no worries” about Donald Trump’s election as US president, adding he expects the right-wing president-elect to align his future policies with global realities.
The 1989 Nobel Peace Prize winner’s remarks on Wednesday were his most extensive yet regarding the election of the property tycoon and reality television star, who has said that he intends to put the concerns of the United States first and has shown little interest in Washington’s traditional espousal of global democracy and social justice.
Commenting at the conclusion of a four-day visit to Mongolia, the leader of Tibetan Buddhism said he looks forward to seeing Trump at some point following the January 20 inauguration.
Such meetings usually draw protests from Beijing, which accuses the Dalai Lama of seeking to split Tibet from China.
The 81-year-old monk said he has always regarded the US as the leader of the “free world” and wasn’t concerned about racist remarks made by Trump during the campaign.
“I feel during the election, the candidate has more freedom to express. Now once they [are] elected, having the responsibility, then they have to carry their cooperation, their work, according [to] reality,” he told reporters in the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar.
“So I have no worries.”
Tenzin Dhardon Sharling, spokeswoman for the self-declared Tibetan government-in-exile in the northern Indian town of Dharamsala, said she was not aware of any plans for a meeting between the Dalai Lama and Trump.
She said the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan exile community have enjoyed good relations with successive US presidents and expected that to continue under a Trump administration.
“His holiness has always put great hope in the US as a champion of democracy. He hopes for continued support from the new president and his government,” she said.
Asked to comment on climate change – which Trump has denounced as a hoax – the Dalai Lama said he was heartened by the turn to alternative energy sources such as solar and wind power.
“We must now concentrate on these things. I don’t know whether we can reduce cars or not. People everywhere busy, busy. I don’t know if it will be possible,” he said.
Referring to past efforts to minimise damage to the ozone layer, the Dalai Lama said that raised the chance of similar cooperation on climate change.
“So that gives us hope, there is possibility,” he said.