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Dalai Lama wraps up his visit to Poland

December 13, 2008

Polish Radio External Service - Poland
Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama wraps up his visit to Poland today. He spent one eventful week in the country, visiting Warsaw, Krakow, Gdansk and Wroclaw, participated in the 25th anniversary celebrations of Lech Walesa's Nobel Peace Prize, met privately with Poland's president Lech Kaczynski and talked to Polish parliamentarians. The visit was widely received as the reiteration of Poland's support to the cause of Free Tibet. 
In his lectures, like the one he gave to five thousand people in Warsaw on Wednesday, the Dalai Lama repeatedly praised the Polish nation for its spirit and perseverance through difficult times. He made parallels between communism which devastated Poland and the Chinese system of oppression. Like in Poland during communism, also in China there are people who see the injustice and sympathize with Tibet. The Dalai Lama admitted that the we should not count on Chinese authorities to end repression, torturing and murders of Tibetans on their own accord.
When the Dalai Lama  paid a private visit to the Polish President Lech Kaczynski on Wednesday, the Polish embassy in China faced protests from the Chinese communists. Expressions of the Chinese opposition to the Dalai Lama's visit continued throughout the week. The local government of Warsaw is working on a project to give one of the city's roundabouts the name of "Free Tibet". The Chinese government has been protesting against this idea, too.
The Dalai Lama, or Tenzin Gyatso was born in 1935 in north-eastern Tibet. At age five he was officially made the Dalai Lama. Since 1959 he has been living in India, managing a government in exile. In 1989 the Dalai Lama received the Nobel Peace Prize. The present visit to Poland was his third.
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