Join our Mailing List

"For a happier, more stable and civilized future, each of us must develop a sincere, warm-hearted feeling of brotherhood and sisterhood."

Dalai Lama named honorary citizen of Warsaw

June 1, 2009

May 28, 2009

WARSAW (AFP) -- Poland's capital Warsaw risked
the ire of China Thursday as local councillors
voted to make the Dalai Lama an honorary citizen of the city.

Spokesman Slawomir Paszkiet told AFP that the
councillors had voted unanimously to grant the
symbolic status to the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.

"As municipal councillors in a city which has
gone through so many trials in its history, we
have the moral right and the duty to honour a man
who seeks for his compatriots and his country the
freedom and sovereignty that we have ourselves
enjoyed for the past 20 years," the councillors
said in a joint declaration, referring to
Warsaw's destruction during the World War II Nazi
German occupation and the 1989 fall of Poland's communist regime.

The Dalai Lama is due to receive his honorary
citizenship when he visits Warsaw at the end of July.

He last visited Poland in December to take part
in ceremonies marking the 25th anniversary of the
Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Lech Walesa, the
leader of communist-era Poland's Solidarity freedom movement.

He also met with Polish President Lech Kaczynski.

The December trip sparked an angry reaction from
Beijing after a meeting on the sidelines of the
Walesa ceremony between the Dalai Lama and French
President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose country was then
at the helm of the 27-nation European Union.

The Dalai Lama is due to visit Paris next month
to be made an honorary citizen of the French capital.

Earlier this month, China warned Paris not to
make more "errors" on Tibet ahead of the Dalai
Lama's visit, just as frosty ties between the two
nations had improved in the wake of the Sarkozy meeting.

Beijing accuses the Dalai Lama of seeking
independence for Tibet from Chinese rule and
considers any official meeting with the leader as
meddling in China's internal affairs.

The Dalai Lama, who has lived in exile in India
since 1959, insists he is simply pushing for autonomy for the Himalayan region.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
Developed by plank