His Holiness the Dalai Lama spent five days in Germany (May 16th-20th)
He lectured about subjects such as:
- "Religion - Peace Maker or War Maker" and
- "Human Rights as a duty"
1. Bochum (Westphalia)
- He was invited by the Lord Major
- He signed the golden book
- 5.000 supporters listened to his speech
2. Bamberg (Bavaria)
- 5.000 celebrated him in the basketball-stadium
3. Nürnberg (Bavaria)
- Last Sunday enthusiastic 7.000 people were in the arena
4. The highlight was his visit to Berlin last Monday
- In the morning he met Mrs Wieczorek-Zeul, the German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, in the famous Adlon Hotel. She had talks with him in the name of the government.
- This meeting was not without tensions after some protests by the leader of the Social Democratic Party and the Foreign Minister. Mrs Wieczorek-Zeul's argument for meeting the Dalai Lama was: "My task is the dialogue between the cultures and engagement for Human Rights" And: "The world needs personalities who represent the idea of freedom and justice."
- The reaction of His Holiness: He laughed. "I know I am a trouble maker. My visit is too much politicised. I promote the idea of human values and harmony."
- It is a tradition to meet the Dalai Lama in Germany. I think you remember very well when Chancellor Angela Merkel met His Holiness in her official office, the Federal Chancellery ("Bundeskanzleramt"), last September. The effect of this meeting were massive protests from Beijing and strained relations between Chinese and German political leaders for a few weeks, what some called "a diplomatic ice age".
- His Holiness also met the Chairman of the Christian Democratic Party parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Volker Kauder, and the Co-Chair of the Green Party, Claudia Roth (a former MEP). He also met leaders of the Tibetan dialogue circle of the Bundestag from the Liberal Democrats and the CDU as well as members of the Committee of Foreign Affairs from all parties. The message was very clear: "China has to accept that we as democrats decide ourselves whom we want to meet".
- One highlight of the visist was his speech in front of the Brandenburg Gate, where he addressed 20.000 people and hailed the fall of the Berlin Wall as a symbol of peaceful protest. Standing at the former East/West border, he said: "This is the very place the Berlin Wall disappeared, not by force, but by a popular peace movement. So I really feel there is something very significant in this."
- At the speech, the Dalai Lama also reassured China that he was not seeking independence for Tibet. He also demonstrated his compassion with the victims of the earthquake in China and demanded "a halt of demonstrations by Tibetans as a sign of solidarity with China"
- His Holiness was not very enthusiastic about the meetings between his representatives and Chinese officials earlier this month. He said: "Now the problem is that we have some very nice thingson paper. But actually implementing them is very difficult."
- The Dalai Lama and the issue of Tibet were clearly in the spotlight of attention in Germany, had a lot of media coverage. All major newspapers were full of front-page articles covering the visit.
- The thirty-third visit to Germany was one of the most important ones. His Holiness is more and more accepted as a man of charisma and a clear character: He is very realistic and able to differentiate. His appeal for autonomy is now well known. Beijing's propaganda machine, which tries to demonize him, stands no chance.
- The reaction of Beijing: Germany should not allow so-called Anti-China-Activities of the Dalai Lama. China waits for concrete actions to support the One-China-Policy.
Yesterday His Holiness started his visit to Great Britain for eleven days. He received an honorary doctor title by the London Metropolitan University. He will visit the British Parliament to hold a speech in front of the committee of Foreign Affairs and will meet Prime Minister Gordon Brown in the domicile of the Arc bishop of Canterbury. Opposition groups criticized that Brown will not meet him at Downing Street 10.