London: Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has decried Buddhist monks` attacks on Muslims in Myanmar, saying that killing in the name of religion was "unthinkable".
The 77-year-old Buddhist leader told a gathering at the University of Maryland at the start of a US tour that the root of seemingly sectarian conflict was political, not spiritual, reports the Huffington Post.
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate said that killing people in the name of religion is "unthinkable" and "very sad". Nowadays, even Buddhists are involved in Myanmar, with monks attackingMuslim mosques , he added.
A wave of sectarian violence erupted in March in the central Myanmar town of Meikhtila, causing 44 deaths and displacing an estimated 13,000 people, mostly Muslims.
Sectarian clashes between Buddhists and Muslims, who make up about 5 percent of Myanmar`s population, have erupted on several occasions since a quasi-civilian government took power in March 2011 after five decades of military dictatorship.
The Dalai Lama also urged his largely student audience of 15,000 to create a new world in the 21st century, saying that he was a man of the last century.
China brands, who fled into exile to India in 1959 after an abortive uprising against Chinese rule of Tibet, as a separatist. The Dalai Lama says he is merely seeking more autonomy for his Himalayan homeland.
The Dalai Lama`s US visit includes stops in Oregon, Wisconsin, Kentucky and New Orleans, Louisiana.