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'China overreacted to the conference'

'China overreacted to the conference'

Author: Shobhan Saxena
Publication: The Times of India
Date: December 4, 2011
URL: http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-12-04/special-report/30474156_1_buddhist-monk-dalai-lama-india-and-china

Vietnamese monk Thich Quang Ba, the founding abbot of Van Hanh Monastery in Canberra and the man who drafted the resolution adopted by the first Global Buddhist Congregation in Delhi this week, says no one is proposing a Buddhist empire:

What's the idea behind bringing Buddhists from all over the world on a platform?

There have been some international Buddhist meetings in the last 10 years, but small and big Buddhist organizations have been waiting for an opportunity to come together. They have a global view. They have got local activity but coming together on global scale is rare. A meeting on this scale hasn't happened before.

It's also important politically...

We don't want to form a Buddhist empire. No one can play the leading role, anyway. We don't want to dominate others.

Q.: What solutions can the Buddhists offer to global problems?
A.: One of the main clauses in our declaration is that we use the Buddha's teachings to help solve the problems caused by inequality, injustice, discrimination, violent conflicts, consumerism and materialism . But Buddhism is based on volunteerism. You can't enforce an idea on anybody.

Q.: The meeting caused a row between India and China. So you can't avoid politics?
A.: China overreacted by interfering in this conference which was not an Indian government affair. This conference has been organized by the Buddhist themselves. This meeting has nothing to do with the Indian government. Then why should China bother about it.
Q.: Maybe China fears the Dalai Lama's growing stature as a global leader.
A.: The Dalai Lama is the best known Buddhist monk in the world. But in Buddhism there is no hierarchical system. Dalai Lama is not the kind of leader who will enforce his ideas on others. So, the Chinese fears are baseless.

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