Warsaw, Poland, 28 July 2009 (Office of Tibet, London) - His Holiness the Dalai Lama's first public engagement for this current visit to Poland took place this morning with a talk at the University of Warsaw on "Value of Education & Universal Responsibility". The university's new and modern hall was packed with its members of staff, students and invited guests and more than 100 members of the public watched His Holiness' talk on live television feed in a separate room.
Prior to the public talk, His Holiness was welcomed by the University Rector, Prof Katarzyna Chalasinska-Macukow who thanked the Tibetan Nobel Peace Laureate for accepting their invitation to visit and address the university students, staff and the general public.
His Holiness in his talk said that the real purpose of education is to lead a meaningful and happy life and that this should permeate within the family, society and ultimately to the whole of humanity. His Holiness also spoke about the importance of moral values and said that a compassionate person was found to be happier and had a healthy state of mind.
The Tibetan spiritual and temporal leader also stressed that education with warm-heartedness brought inner strength, self-confidence and that such a person was able to deal with other people much more openly and truthfully. He said basically we are all same human beings who want happiness and do not want suffering. Differences based on nationalities and race was not that important because even at an individual and family level we have many differences and way of thinking.
His Holiness said that so long as human beings remain there are bound to be differences and this is why he believes in the importance of Universal Responsibility for the larger well being of the humanity as a whole. His Holiness said the best way to overcome differences is through dialogue and understanding the view point of the other person.
The Tibetan leader later answered questions from the audience ranging from the current global economic crisis to the recent demonstrations in Eastern Turkestan and how young student journalists can help highlight the issue of Tibet. His Holiness expressed his appreciation for the Polish people for their good motivation to help and support Tibet and asked the Polish people to visit Tibet to find out whether the official Chinese statements of the Tibetans inside Tibet enjoying a happy life was true or not.
The public talk event concluded with the University's Rector presenting His Holiness with the Medal of the University and citation that said that the Medal of the University was being conferred to His Holiness "in recognition of His Holiness' great contribution to education for peace and ethics based on love and compassion and for being a great moral inspiration to the world community."
In the afternoon, His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited the Warsaw Rising Museum where the Director of the Museum Mr Jan Odakowski showed His Holiness around the exhibition which recounts the story of the Warsaw rising of 1944 against occupation. His Holiness' presence at the Museum drew a large contingent of Polish media and many members of the public. Following the tour, His Holiness signed the Museum's visitor book and also answered a few questions from the assembled media.
His Holiness said the visit to the museum was moving and showed how much sacrifice the people of Poland had to make to regain their freedom and independence. He said he admired their determination of the Polish people and their sense of solidarity with other oppressed people in the world, including the Tibetans.
His Holiness later in the afternoon opened Ven Dr Tenzin Jangchub's Tibetan Herbal Health Clinic Co Ltd, the first such clinic in Warsaw in the presence of some Polish medical figures and invited guests. This was followed by an impromptu visit to the Church of St Stanislaw Kostka at the invitation of Father Czelaw Banaszkiewicz. Upon arriving at the church, His Holiness laid a khatak at the tomb of Father Jerzy Popieluszko who is revered in Poland for his sermon's calling for the country's freedom during its Communist era and who was murdered by Communist's security agents in 1984.
The Tibetan Nobel Peace Laureate earlier attended an official lunch hosted by the Mayor of Warsaw, Ms Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz and the Chairwoman of the Warsaw City Council Ms Ewa Malinowska-Grupinska. Tomorrow His Holiness will be awarded the honorary citizenship of Warsaw at a function in the Royal Castle that is to be also attended by the former Polish President and Nobel Peace Laureate Mr. Lech Walesa.
Throughout the day's engagements, His Holiness spoke of the respect which he held the Polish people for the strength and determination that they have shown in their struggle for freedom and in establishing democracy following a long period of authoritarian Communist rule. Where ever His Holiness went there was a large outpouring of support and respect towards His Holiness from the Polish public. The media too followed His Holiness at all these events.