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18thaugust2011tpiestonia2Tallinn, Estonia: The spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness Wednesday met with the the President of Estonia Mr Toomas Hendrik Ilves at the Centre for Defence Studies in Tallinn, the Estonian capital. The meeting with the president was followed by a brief seminar on Tibet attended by the staff of the Centre, intellectuals and writers from different institutions as well as people who are deeply interested in international affairs.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama's second day of his third visit to Estonia began with interviews for Postimees, the largest newspaper in Estonia, and Estonian Television.

His Holiness then walked the short distance between the Centre for Defence Studies and the Riigikogu (Estonian Parliament) stopping enroute to speak to and bless Estonians and tourists.

At the Riigikogu, His Holiness met with members of the Estonian Parliamentary Group for Tibet and other members of the Estonian Parliament, and attended a lunch hosted by Mr Andres Herkel, the leader of the Estonian Parliamentary group for Tibet, in honour of His Holiness' visit. The lunch was attended by guests including the Mr Mart Laar, the Minister of Defence and the acting Prime Minister of Estonia.

18thaugust2011tpiestonia1Immediately following lunch, His Holiness had a meeting with Parliamentarian supporters from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, including some MEPs and key members from the Tibet support groups from the three Baltic States. Addressing the meeting, His Holiness spoke about the situation in Tibet today. The policy of the Chinese central government was leading to a situation where the Tibetans are become an insignificant minority in their own land. Commenting on the construction of the railway to Lhasa, His Holiness informed the meeting that the Chinese leaders themselves have expressed the view that this is a political and not an economic project. The environmental situation is critical as a result of deforestation and mining. Despite these difficulties, His Holiness informed the meeting that a positive thing is the fact that Tibetan spirit and determination remains very strong.


The culmination of the second day of His Holiness' visit to Estonia was His Holiness' public speech "A Call for Universal Responsibility" at the Liberty Square, in front of the Estonian Liberty Statue.


Opening the meeting under the Estonian and Tibetan flags, the main organisers of the visit Mr Sven Grünberg, the Director of Estonian Institute of Buddhism and Mr. Andres Herkel spoke about the historic value of this visit, the meetings with the Estonian officials - The President, the parliamentarians, the acting Prime Minister and other ministers.


Mr Grünberg added that people attending the meeting as well as watching the media coverage are here not only to get something but also to give - we have to make sure that the Tibetan civilization and culture will not vanish. He gave a present to His Holiness from the Estonian People - flags of both Estonia and Tibet (both made in Estonia).


18thaugust2011estonia1In his speech His Holiness remembered with warm words his visits to Estonia 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 told the large gathering of about 10,000 people that it was good to base our life on hope because no one can predict the future. Estonia has achieved many of her aspirations and she has done it respecting moral ethics. Following the public talk, the Tibetan Nobel Peace Laureate also answered a series of questions put by the audience, ranging from his visits to different countries, the present situation in the world, his recent resignation from political leadership, and how people from different countries can help the Tibetans.


Leaving the Liberty Square, His Holiness consecrated a sandala mandala created close to the where the public talk was held by monks from Namgyal Monastery.

More photos of the visit, please see the gallery.

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