By Phurbu Thinley
Dharamsala, Sept 22: His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived on Wednesday in Wroclaw, the capital of Lower Silesia in south western Poland, where he was due to give a lecture and meet with locals before continuing his tour of Europe.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama receiving the Honorary Citizenship of the City of Wroclaw on 10th December 2008. (Photo: Office of Tibet, London/file)
According to a press statement issued by the Office of Tibet, London, the exiled Tibetan leader arrived in Poland, following his visits to Hungary and Germany, at the invitation of the Mayor of Wroclaw, Mr. Rafal Dutkiewicz.
His two-day visit will begin with a visit to the Solidarity Wroclaw exhibition, which was created in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of the Polish Solidarity movement. Later His Holiness will give a public talk on the subject of “Solidarity” at the Centenary Hall for which 6,000 tickets have already been sold.
The Tibetan leader will also hold a separate meeting with representatives of the Polish Parliamentary Group for Tibet.
During his stay, His Holiness will meet with representatives of the religious groups in the city and interact with children from secondary schools in Wroclaw.
On Thursday, he will hold a press conference before meeting with young people in the Wrocław Puppet Theater.
The Dalai Lama previously visited the city in December 2008 when the Wroclaw City Council presented His Holiness with the Honorary Citizenship of the city, the citation of which rread: “Poland, though it suffered immensely in the past, has never given up its spirit, and the Poles are now living in a free country. Wroclaw is a city of many cultures and religions. In the words of the late Pope John Paul II, Wroclaw is a meeting place, a uniting place. The ideals of His Holiness the Dalai Lama are especially dear to the citizens of Wroclaw.”
The citation further described Dalai Lama as “an unmatched role model in propagating the idea of peace, freedom and mutual respect.”
His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit to Poland this week will be his fifth following previous visits in 1993, 2000, 2008 and 2009.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a long time friend of former Polish President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Lech Walesa, and enjoys a huge following in Poland.In Dec 2008
, The Dalai Lama and other Nobel Peace laureates were invited to Gdansk in Poland to celebrate the 25 years since Walesa won the award for leading Poland's Solidarity movement in a peaceful struggle against the then communist regime.
During the visit, the Tibetan leader was met by the visiting French President Nicolas Sarkozy that upset China.
In protest, China decided to walk away from a long-planned annual summit with EU and warned France of serious consequences in trade and bilateral relations.
In July last year, the Tibetan leader was awarded the honorary citizenship of Polish capital Warsaw.