Dalai Lama calls for ‘century of dialogue’

December 6th, 2008 - 7:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Gdansk (Poland), Dec 6 (DPA) Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama called for a “century of dialogue” and disarmament, while praising Poland’s spirit in face of hardship during celebrations in Gdansk that marked the 25th anniversary of Lech Walesa receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.The spiritual leader called for dialogue and stressed interdependence and cooperation. He said while Poland’s interest depended on Europe, it was also a case that “Europe’s interest depends on the rest of the world”.

The Dalai Lama praised Walesa’s Solidarity movement, which in the 1980s lead strikes in the Gdansk’s shipyards that helped peacefully topple the communist regime in Poland. He said the movement worked with “courage and determination” under “difficult circumstances”.

“Poland is a people who experience many difficult periods, however no matter what difficulties, the Polish people always keep your spirit, your determination,” the Dalai Lama told the gathering of world leaders in northern Poland. “I admire Polish people … a lot of atrocities, a lot of difficulties, but you never lost your hope, your determination.”

The anniversary celebrations of his (Lech Walesa) Nobel Peace Prize included leaders like French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and Nobel Peace Prize laureates like South Africa’s F.W. de Klerk and Israel’s Shimon Peres.

The Dalai Lama also called for “external disarmament”, and said demilitarisation must begin with “inner peace” and letting go of fear and suspicion.

Walesa received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983.

Sarkozy’s meeting with the Dalai Lama sparked controversy when Beijing cancelled a planned European Union-China summit in Lyon, France, and cited the meeting as the reason.

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