Dalai Lama praises Solidarity in Poland
Warsaw: Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, praised the Polish labour union Solidarity on Wednesday in Wroclaw, western Poland, saying he felt a special bond with the movement which battled communism in the 1980s.
The Dalai Lama spoke to a crowd of some 6,000 people at Wroclaw's Centennial Hall during a two-day visit that followed the spiritual leader's stops in Hungary and Germany.
The Dalai Lama said that in 1980, when Solidarity first formed, he felt a bond of brotherhood with the union that helped topple communism under the leadership of Lech Walesa.
He launched his visit on Wednesday by visiting an exhibit about Solidarity put together to mark the 30th anniversary this year of the union's founding. The Tibetan leader held up his fingers in a V sign for victory, and said that each living being longs for freedom.
The Dalai Lama was due later to visit the city's district of four temples, where there stand in near vicinity a synagogue and three churches - Lutheran, Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox. The spiritual leader said in 2008 that he was impressed with the site because the four temples functioned near each other without conflict.
The Tibetan spiritual leader received an honorary citizenship from the city of Wroclaw in 2008, and became an honorary citizen of Warsaw a year later.
China has accused the Dalai Lama of wanting an independent Tibet, but the leader says he wants autonomy for the region.
The Dalai Lama fled Tibet after an abortive uprising against China in 1959, and set up a Tibetan government-in-exile in India.