Dalai Lama calls for ban on nuclear weapons: 75th anniversary of Hiroshima bombing

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama gestures during an event at his residence in McLeod Ganj, India, on 25 October 2019.

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama gestures during an event at his residence in McLeod Ganj, India, on 25 October 2019. File photo/Tibet Sun/Lobsang Wangyal

Tibet Sun Online News

ON THE WEB, 6 August 2020

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama renewed calls to abolish nuclear weapons, a cause he has championed throughout his life, on the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

“On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I take the opportunity to urge governments, organizations and individuals to rededicate themselves to making the achievement of peace the centerpiece of our lives,” the Dalai Lama said in a statement.

He stated that despite many great developments, the 20th century was an era of violence in which some 200 million people were killed, including the horrific use of nuclear weapons. “Now, in our increasingly interdependent world, we have a chance to make this a more peaceful century.”

Dialogue, not force, should be the means of resolving conflicts, with the ultimate aim of achieving a demilitarized world, he says.

“War means killing. Violence leads to counter violence. We need to put an end to combat and the production of weapons and construct a more peaceful world. We must recognise the oneness of humanity, and understand that we will not achieve peace merely through prayer; we need to take action.”

The United States dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945, destroying the city and killing 140,000 people. A second bomb was dropped three days later on Nagasaki, killing another 70,000. On 15 August, Japan surrendered, ending World War II and Japan’s anticipated expansion in Asia.

The bombing ushered in a nuclear arms race, with the Soviet Union testing its own atomic bomb in 1949.

Survivors of the world’s first atomic bombing observed a minute’s silence in front of an iconic blasted dome, kept as a memorial of the world’s first nuclear attack, in Hiroshima at 8:15 am, the time when the bomb was dropped on the city in 1945.

Many of them, who are now in their 80s, urged the world, and their own government, to do more to ban nuclear weapons, as they marked the bombing’s 75th anniversary.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also called for the abolition of atomic weapons. Abe urged dialogue between countries to decrease security threats, and pledged that Japan would uphold its position of not possessing, making or introducing nuclear weapons.

“As the only country to suffer nuclear attacks, it is our duty to advance efforts to realize a world without nuclear weapons,” he said.

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