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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Polish Solidarity raises Tibetan flag during Dalai Lama visit

September 28, 2010

Tibetan Review
September 25, 2010

In a strong symbol of support for and solidarity
with the Tibetan people in their struggle for
freedom, mayor Rafal Dutkiewicz of Wroclaw city,
the capital of Lower Silesia, Poland, presented
to the Dalai Lama on Sep 22 a white flag
emblazoned with the characteristic red Polish
Solidarity logo and a Tibetan flag in a sports
hall filled to the brim with guests. The AFP Sep
22 said Solidarity union activists later
decorated the Dalai Lama – who also underscored
the importance of global support for the right of
Tibetans living in Tibet to cultural freedom –
with a "Solidarity forever" medal. On his part
the Dalai Lama has said no force can stop the basic human desire for freedom.

The event took place during the Dalai Lama’s
visit to Wroclaw on Sep 22-23 at the invitation
of the mayor. He began his itinerary with a visit
to the Solidarity Wroclaw exhibition, which was
created to mark the 30th anniversary of the
founding of the Solidarity movement. The movement
had led the overthrow of the communist
dictatorship in Poland, which became the first
country to escape communist Russia's grip.

The Dalai Lama gave a public talk on Sep 22 on
the subject of 'Solidarity' at the Centenary
Hall, with the 6,000 tickets for it already sold
before his arrival. The Tibetan leader said that
in 1980, when Solidarity first formed, he felt a
bond of brotherhood with the union that under the
leadership of Lech Walesa helped topple
communism, reported DPA Sep 22. And the AFP Sep
22 quoted him as saying, "Spiritually,
emotionally I was involved with your Solidarity movement."

He also held a separate meeting with
representatives of the Polish Parliamentary Group
for Tibet who especially arrived from capital Warsaw.

On Sep 23, the Dalai Lama spoke to high school
students at the city’s puppet theatre. He
emphasized the importance of developing a warm
heart along with the quest for knowledge,
intellect and professional skills. The DPA news
agency Sep 23 cited the Tibetan leader as saying
the world was full of fear and suspicion and
these would disappear if people respected each
other. It cited him as saying that the previous
century of technological advances as well as
bloodshed must now be followed by one of dialogue
and peace. He has added that real dialogue can
only happen amid brotherhood and mutual respect.
Students were reported to have asked him about
his idea of the good, and about threats to humanity and the concept of nirvana.

And before leaving for India, the Dalai Lama met
with representatives of religious groups in the
city’s district of four temples, where a
synagogue and three churches – Lutheran, Roman
Catholic and Eastern Orthodox – stand close to each other.

The Dalai Lama had earlier visited Wroclaw in
Dec’08 when the City Council presented him with an Honorary Citizenship.

This was the Dalai Lama’s fifth visit to Poland
after those in 1993, 2000, 2008 and 2009.
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