Dalai Lama concerned over deaths due to extreme heat

Dharamsala, June 4 (IANS) Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Thursday expressed concern over the death of more than 2,000 Indians due to extreme heat, and stressed the need for economic development to help the poor.

There was an urgent need for economic development to help the poor everywhere, the Nobel laureate told a reporter in Australia, citing the death of over 2,000 people recently due to the heat wave sweeping India.

“These were poor people, people with no facilities. We have to develop the economy in order to improve the situation for people like that,” a post on the Dalai Lama’s official website quoted him as saying.

The Dalai Lama is currently touring Australia, giving public talks.

During Network Ten’s news and current affairs programme “The Project”, he was asked about turning 80 and what he does on his birthday.

“Last month, I had a party with Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the Tibetan Children’s Village in Dharamsala,” the Dalai Lama said.

“They made a cake and he taught me how to blow out the candles. But generally for a Buddhist, your birthday isn’t that significant. Using your time in a meaningful way is more important,” he said.

On violent groups like the Islamic State, the Dalai Lama agreed that the situation was very difficult to handle because such people were already in the grip of extremely negative emotions.

The Dalai Lama has lived in India since fleeing his homeland in 1959. The Tibetan administration in exile is based in Dharamsala town in Himachal Pradesh.

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