“As far as my own rebirth is concerned, the final authority is myself. No one else. Obviously, not Chinese communists.” 

— Dalai Lama

“He’s saying, ‘They can make that decision over my dead body, except not that.’”

— John Oliver

In December 2016, Last Week Tonight host John Oliver appeared in a video shot at Delhi airport. “Congratulations Delhi, you are a carbon-neutral airport,” he says in the video below. “Even though the air outside is difficult to breathe, but that’s not the point. The point is, it’s carbon-neutral here. The air is like soup but let’s not criticise that, let’s congratulate Delhi airport.”

Now, the reason for that visit has become clear. Oliver visited Dharamsala in a journey that consisted of more “uphill travel, cows and monkey traffic” than he had been led to believe. It was to have a chat with the Dalai Lama and explain the situation in Tibet to the people of the US.

Besides death, the relationship with China, and demons, they also discussed the Dalai Lama’s rather unique cure for alcoholism. The religious leader claimed that he got Mongolia off vodka by convincing its people to drink horse milk, which Oliver obviously did not find either believable or particularly appetising.

The leader also analysed what might be wrong with China’s leaders: “Our brain usually, you see, [has] the ability to create common sense. The Chinese hardliners, in their brains, that part of the brain is missing.”