By Tenzin Tsering
Dharamsala, May 30 – In a move that is likely to irk China Poland has decided to confer the honorary citizenship of Warsaw upon the exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama.
China, which has repeatedly expressed its objection over any official meeting or recognition given to the Tibetan leader, including the last December meeting between French President Sarkozy and the Dalai Lama in Poland, cancelled an EU China Summit.
The municipal councilors of Warsaw city has stated in their joint declaration that “ a city which has gone through so many trials in its history, we have the moral right and the duty to honour a man who seeks for his compatriots and his country the freedom and sovereignty that we have ourselves enjoyed for the past 20 years,” referring to Warsaw’s occupation and the destruction by the Nazi Germans in the World War II.
Municipal councilors’ spokesperson Slawomir Paszkit told AFP that it was a unanimous decision to honor the Dalai Lama who is due to receive the award when he visits Warsaw city in July.
The Dalai Lama is due to visit Paris next month when the 1989 Nobel laureate will be awarded the honorary citizenship of Paris.
Earlier this month, China warned Paris not to make more "errors" on Tibet ahead of the Dalai Lama's visit, just as frosty ties between the two nations had improved in the wake of the Sarkozy’s meeting with Chinese leaders.
Beijing accuses the Dalai Lama of seeking independence for Tibet from Chinese rule and warns world leader against “meddling in China's internal affairs.”
The Dalai Lama, who has lived in exile in India since 1959, insists he is simply pushing for autonomy for the Himalayan region.