Mrs Angelika Diekmann (c) presents His Holiness the Dalai Lama with Menschen-in-Europa award
in Passau, Germany, 21 September 2010
Dharamsala, September 22 – His Holiness the Dalai Lama yesterday received the 2010 Menschen-in-Europa Award in Passau, Germany. The Tibetan leader, after completing his Hungary tour arrived in Germany Tuesday.
At the presentation ceremony of the award by Verlagsgruppe Passau, former Premier of the German state of Hesse, Mr. Roland Koch, said China must not miss the opportunity to engage in talks with the Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama.
A long time friend of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and supporter of Tibetan cause, Koch said “I believe it is in the own interest of China to make peace with the Dalai Lama.” For eleven and a half years, Mr. Koch served as the premier of Hesse State and in May this year he announced his resignation from political life. During his tenure a special relationship developed between the Hesse State and Tibet.
Mr Roland Koch greets His Holiness the Dalai Lama
“This man stands for non-violence,” Koch said as he pointed towards the Tibetan leader, adding that failure to support His Holiness means supporting violence. He called on the international community to stand behind the Dalai Lama and support the Tibetan people.
In his acceptance speech, His Holiness said that he was honoured to receive the award. He said he had a close feeling with Deutschland since childhood. “You built a new nation from ash. From immense destruction you have built a strong economic and developed good democratic system. I admire you all,” he said.
His Holiness said that the education system should focus more on human values and quality. “Moral ethics is not based on religion but on secularism. Secularism doesn’t mean disrespect for religion.”
Speaking on the Tibetan issue in response to a question from the panel discussion's moderator, His Holiness said, “Our demand is simple. Tibetan issue is nothing to do with the Dalai Lama’s institution. Tibetan people have placed trust in the Dalai Lama and majority of Tibetan people will listen. I am one simple person. Tibetan issue is the issue of 6 million Tibetans.”
His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that 20th century was a century of war and the 21st should be a century of dialogue and peace. He added that peace does not mean that there are no more conflicts. "But the goal should be to find for both sides a solution that is acceptable for both," he said.
Previous winners of the Menschen in Europe Award include former United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the President Shimon Peres of Israel.