(TibetanReview.net, May18, 2014) – Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, returned to Dharamsala, India, on May 17 after concluding a tour of Riga (Latvia), Oslo (Norway), Rotterdam and The Hague (Holland), and Frankfurt (Germany) beginning May 4. On the last leg of his tour, the Dalai Lama arrived in Frankfurt on May 13 afternoon for public talks, interaction with school children and religious figures and address to the media over the next three days. He was welcomed by the Minister-President Mr Volker Bouffier and other political leaders of Hessen state.
While welcoming him at the Tibet House, set up by Bonn University Tibetan teacher Dagyab Rinpoche, on May 13, Bouffier said: “Your Holiness, we are very happy to be meeting with you and to give you the opportunity to share your message with us. We have for decades admired you and your work for peace and freedom in Tibet. In Germany we have a clear respect for self-determination, human rights and peaceful co-existence.”
The Dalai Lama addressed the media on May 14 morning and gave a public speech on “Self-Awareness and Compassion” at the Fraport Arena to an audience of 4,800.
In the morning of the following day, the Dalai Lama spoke to a gathering of Tibetans living across Germany in the iconic Museum of Modern Art. This was followed by two public talks given in St Paul’s Church – the Paulskirche. The first was to an audience of around 900 children from schools across Frankfurt and was on the theme of “Secular Ethics in Our Common World”. He was welcomed and introduced by the Lord Mayor of Frankfurt, Peter Feldmann. Feldmann called Frankfurt a tolerant, multi-cultural society of many faiths and many languages, with the Tibet House making a prominent constructive contribution to the life of the city.
Later in the afternoon, the Dalai Lama gave a public talk on “Ethics Beyond Religion”. Dr Eskanderi-Grunberg, Head of the Integration Department of the state government, introduced the topic. The discussion partners were Bishop Dr Stephan Ackermann of the Diocese of Trier and Prof. Dr Rainer Forst of Goethe University. The discussion was hosted jointly by the Goethe University and the Tibet House Germany located in the city and his host for the current visit.
On May 16, the Dalai Lama spoke to a group of eighty or so business people, entertainers, teachers and others at the request of the group ‘Friends for a Friend’. This was followed by the German Speakers Association, a non-profit organization of innovative thought leaders, presenting their Global Award for 2014 to the Dalai Lama. The group said the Dalai Lama touches and inspires people the world over and has been unstinting in his advocacy for freedom in Tibet in presenting the award to him.
This was the Dalai Lama’s 37th trip to Germany, his most-visited country in Europe, since 1973.