Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Indian Rapists, Death Penalty not the Answer

During a panel discussion last week at the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival in Jaipur, India, His Holiness the Dalai Lama touched on the controversial trial that began last Thursday in the bustling Indian city.

The five men on trial could be hanged if they are convicted, according to the Associated Press. The family of the 23-year-old victim, who died of her injuries two weeks after the attack, have called for the execution of all the accused. But the Dalai Lama, during his appearance at the Jaipur festival, demurred.

“I do not like the death sentence,” he said, adding that there are other ways to deal with the alleged perpetrators. The Dalai Lama said that "the 21 century belonged to dialogue and not to confrontation or violence."

The Tibetan leader has been a steadfast opponent of the death penalty, which contradicts the Buddhist philosophy of non-violence. In July 2011, the Dalai Lama travelled to Chicago, where he praised Illinois Governor Pat Quinn for abolishing the death penalty in his state.

The Delhi rape case has sparked debate over the Indian legal system, and public anger has been directed at officials in a city informally christened India's "rape capital," according to Reuters.

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