By Tenzin Monlam
Helmut Kohl, former German Chancellor/file
DHARAMSHALA, June 18: The Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama has expressed his sadness over the passing away of former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
In a letter to his wife Maike Kohl-Richter yesterday, His Holiness wrote, “He was a visionary leader and statesman. I would like to convey my condolences to you and your family.”
Chancellor Kohl, who served as German chancellor from 1982 to 1998, died at the age of 87 and was referred as the ‘father of reunification’ and also credited for the creation of the Eurozone.
“I had great admiration for Chancellor Kohl’s steady leadership when the Cold War came to a peaceful end and the re-unification of Germany became possible,” wrote the Tibetan leader.
“Like him, I am also an enthusiastic admirer of the spirit of the European Union, which was founded to promote the common interest ahead of individual nation's concerns. This Union has delivered more than six decades of peace, reconciliation and prosperity in Europe,” the Tibetan spiritual leader wrote.
The Dalai Lama mentioned that the best tribute the world can pay is by ‘carrying his vision forward’ and ‘work to inspire future generations so that the EU continues to serves as a model of unity and strength in times to come’.
Kohl had left active politics in 2002 and since 2008, had suffered from impaired speech. He was also a mentor of the current German Chancellor Angela Merkel.