Join our Mailing List

"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?"

Dalai Lama hails Poland's Solidarity 30 years on

September 26, 2010

Agence France-Presse (AFP)
September 22, 2010

WROCLAW, Poland -- Tibet's exiled spiritual
leader the Dalai Lama hailed Poland's 1980s
freedom fighting Solidarity movement Wednesday as
the trade union that peacefully toppled the Polish communist party turns 30.

"Spiritually, emotionally I was involved with
your Solidarity movement," the Dalai Lama told an
audience of 6,000 in Wroclaw, southwest Poland,
at a lecture marking three decades since the rise
of Solidarity, the first free trade union in the entire Soviet bloc.

"I think in terms of global change in this part
of the world, Solidarity definitely made change,
including the Soviet Union -- it really made an
important impact," said the 75-year-old Tibetan
Buddhist leader who has been living in exile for
the last 51 years after communist China's 1950
invasion of his Himalayan homeland.

Wroclaw Mayor Rafal Dutkiewicz presented the
Dalai Lama with a white flag emblazoned with the
characteristic red Solidarity logo and a Tibetan
flag in a sports hall filled to the brim with guests.

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.

"The worldwide support shown for Tibet, I think
there is no doubt that that impacts our Chinese
brothers and sisters. It's not an immediate sort
of change or impact, but gradually strengthened,"
he said, while stressing he had "no ambition" for
Tibetan independence from communist China.

Beijing accuses him of inciting unrest with a hidden pro-independence agenda.

"It is human nature that from childhood we want
freedom. God creates all human being with the
same nature, so the desire for freedom. So, the
suppression of freedom with certain ideology it
is only temporary. You cannot suppress a basic
human desire," the Dalai Lama said.

"The basic human desire for freedom, no force can
stop that," he added. Historians see Poland's
Solidarity movement as having been instrumental
in bringing down communism in Europe.

After an unprecedented two-week-long strike at
the Lenin Shipyards in the Baltic Sea port of
Gdansk, Poland's communist regime signed an
agreement on August 31, 1980 with strikers led by
shipyard electrician Lech Walesa that paved the
way for the creation of Solidarnosc (Solidarity).

After recovering from the communist party's
martial law crackdown on the union in 1981,
Solidarity went on to negotiate in 1989 a
peaceful end to communism in Poland, making the
country the first to escape Moscow's grip.

By 1991, the Soviet Union crumbled and the
bi-polar world of the Cold War became a thing of the past.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
Developed by plank