The Dalai Lama is the Nobel Peace Laureate who best embodies qualities of humility, peace and non-violence, according to a poll of five countries in Europe and the U.S. commissioned by ICT.
The poll also found that individuals in the countries surveyed had an overwhelmingly good opinion of the exiled Tibetan religious leader, with approval ratings topping 90% in France, Germany and Italy.
There was also a strong recognition of human rights abuses in Tibet in the countries surveyed by the French Institute of Public Opinion (IFOP), with 82% of those surveyed in France and 68% in the U.S.A. saying that the situation in Tibet with regard to rights was ‘not satisfactory’.
Matteo Mecacci, President of the International Campaign for Tibet, said: “The polls send a clear message of international support for the Dalai Lama, the world’s most famous Buddhist and beloved leader of the Tibetan people, as people across the globe celebrate his 80th birthday. Democracies properly function only when the views of their citizens are seriously taken into account and acted upon by Governments. European Governments and American leaders should not ignore the opinion of their own citizens and should clearly assert their support for the Tibetan Nobel Peace Laureate and call on China to uphold its international obligations with regard to the human rights situation in Tibet.”
The surveys, carried out between June 25 – July 3, the week before the Dalai Lama’s birthday, showed:
- When asked which Nobel Peace Prize Laureate best embodied the qualities associated with the award, 57% of people polled in Italy, 54% of people in France and 50% of those polled in Germany named the Dalai Lama above other Laureates including Malala and President Barack Obama.
- 82% of people polled in France and 73% of people asked in the UK said that the human rights situation in Tibet was ‘not satisfactory’. Only 3% of people polled in the UK said it was ‘satisfactory’.
- When asked whether they had a good or bad opinion of the Dalai Lama, 90% of people polled in Germany, 80% in the Netherlands, 95% in Italy and 87% in the United States, said they had a ‘good opinion’.
Reacting to the survey results, André Gattolin, Senator in the French Parliament, said, “This survey underlines the very positive image of His Holiness the Dalai Lama among the international public opinion, especially in France, Germany and Italy. An overwhelming popularity and a very strong concern on human rights in Tibet which, unfortunately, deeply contrast with the lowering involvement of their respective Governments… It’s time for them to stand up.”
The results of the poll follow results of a survey commissioned last year by ICT which showed that an overwhelming majority of French and German citizens express solidarity and concern for the lack of respect for human rights and civil liberties of Tibetans, and have a favorable opinion of the Dalai Lama, calling upon their political leaders to officially invite the Dalai Lama to their capitals, according to a poll carried out in 2014 in advance of a visit by Chinese leader Xi Jinping to Europe. Another earlier poll placed the Dalai Lama as seventh on an international list of the most admired people in the world, according to a new poll that gathered information from panelists in 34 countries.
In your opinion, which of the following personalities who have received the Nobel Peace Prize best represent the battle for peace and non-violence in the world?
Would you say that the current situation on public liberties and the respect for human rights in Tibet is … ?
And personally, do you have a good or a bad opinion of the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibetan Buddhists?
And more precisely, would you say that each of the following adjectives applies rather well or rather badly to the Dalai Lama?