February 11, 2009

Rome and Venice honor the Dalai Lama

One day after being made a citizen of Rome, His Holiness the Dalai Lama was yesterday in Venice, where he was made an honorary citizen by Mayor Massimo Cacciari.

It was a Tibetan lama who persuaded the Grand Khan to suspend the executions of 100,000 people who were thrown into the river each year; the lama was a friend of Marco Polo, […] but the past is the past and today the communist Chinese authorities have an extremely restrictive and short-sighted view,

said the Tibetan spiritual leader, accusing China of ”deliberately seeking to eliminate Tibetan people, culture and religion.” “In such a difficult period,” he added, “receiving your sympathy and feeling it passed from heart to heart encourages me and makes me happy.”

On Monday, during the citizenship ceremony in Rome, His Holiness said that “this honor of becoming a citizen of Rome is a further encouragement for me to support non-violent action. I will remain committed to non-violence to my dying day.” “I believe that the Tibetan people,” he added, “knowing that I am here in Rome to receive this honorary citizenship, will feel less alone and know that they have not been abandoned.” In welcoming the Dalai Lama to city hall, Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno said: ”Your presence here is our moral revolt against injustice, violence and oppression. A moral revolt in favor of the identity of a people and the right of each and every one of us to express their won spirituality and culture.”

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