His Holiness the Dalai Lama has generated a bit of press for choosing not to answer a question on the self-immolation protests in Tibet.
In London to receive the recently awarded 2012 Templeton Prize, His Holiness received the following question from a reporter at a media conference:
“All over Tibetan areas, Tibetans have been setting fire to themselves — self-immolating in protest against Chinese rule. Can you tell us whether you think that they should stop this now, or should they continue?”
After a brief pause, His Holiness replied, “I think that is a quite sensitive political issue. I think my answer should be zero.”
The reporter, not expecting this, inquired further with, “You have no message for them? Your people?”
His Holiness continued, “Since last year, I retired from political responsibility. Not only myself retired, but also almost 4 centuries old tradition of the Dalai Lama institution. [Inaudible]…that [has] now ended. So, in that sense, now I become truly a simple Buddhist monk. No answer.”