Tallinn, Estonia, 16 August 2011 (by Toomas Tiivel)- His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama arrived in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia from France this afternoon. His Holiness will stay in Estonia for three days until the afternoon of 18 August, and the hosts for this visit are the Estonian Institute of Buddhism and the Riigikogu Tibet Support Group (Estonian Parliamentary group for Tibet). This is His Holiness' third visit to Estonia, the previous two visits having taken place in 1991 and 2001.
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama is met by members of the media on his arrival in Tallinn, Estonia, on 16 August2011. Photos/Jarek Jõepera/Office of Tibet, London|
At the Tallinn Airport His Holiness was welcomed by the main organisers of this visit, the Director of the Estonian Institute of Buddhism Mr. Sven Grünberg and the leader of the Estonian Parliamentary group for Tibet MP Mr. Andres Herkel.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama's first public engagement for this current visit to Estonia started with an audience at the conference center of the Radisson Blu Hotel in Tallinn. There was a meeting of His Holiness and people from the Institute of Buddhism as well as guests invited by the Institute. All together there were more than 400 persons in the hall- politicians, ministers, members of Parliament, scholars from the Estonian universities, representatives of various non-governmental organisations, intellectuals as well as members of the different Buddhist groups in Estonia.
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama with 400 guests from the Estonian Institute of Buddhism in Tallinn, Estonia, on 16 August, 2011. Photo/Jarek Jõepera/Office of Tibet, London|
In his speech His Holiness remembered with warm words his first two visits to Estonia and to other Baltic States some years ago, mentioning that he loved Estonia and Estonian people for their courage and the bravery during complicated times 20 and more years ago. His Holiness spoke of the respect which he held for the Estonian people for the strength and determination that they have shown in their struggle for freedom and in their establishing democracy following a long period of authoritarian Communist rule.
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama during his talk tomembers and guests of the Estonian Institute of Buddhism in Tallinn,Estonia, on 16 August, 2011. Photo/Jarek Jõepera/Office of Tibet, London|
Following the address, the Tibetan Nobel Peace Laureate also answered a series of questions from the audience ranging from his growing up in Tibet, the present situation there, his recent resignation from the postof the political leader of Tibet and how people from different countries can help the Tibetans. His Holiness told the supporters that he does not consider their support for the Tibetan people as being pro-Tibet or anti-Chinese but rather as pro-justice and pro-truth. People must be free inside, in their thoughts as well as beliefs.
His Holiness´schedule for the afternoon also included an interview for Estonian television channel Kanal 2.
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