"In a letter to the family of late Tadeusz Mazowiecki, the first Prime Minister of Poland after the fall of communism in 1989, His Holiness the Dalai Lama expressed his sadness and offered his prayers and condolences," the Office of His Holiness said in a condolence statement on October 29th 2013.
"His Holiness recalled his several meetings with Mr. Mazowiecki and expressed his admiration for his leadership," the statement said.
The statement added His Holiness "also remembered him as a friend and steady supporter of the Tibetan people."
According to media reports, Mazowiecki, Eastern Europe's first democratic prime minister after communism, key adviser to Poland's Solidarity freedom movement and UN human rights envoy to Bosnia in the 1990s, has died on Monday at a hospital in Warsaw, where he had been taken several days earlier with a high fever. He was 86.
A lawyer by training, a writer and thinker by temperament, Mazowiecki was well equipped for his role in ousting communism from Poland and shaping a democracy.
Like Walesa, and many Solidarity activists, he was detained under martial law, imposed on Dec. 13, 1981, to curb the freedom that had irritated Moscow. After one year in confinement, Mazowiecki returned to Walesa's side and wrote reports about social and economic stagnation under martial law.
The hardships inspired a new wave of strikes in 1988. Mazowiecki walked arm in arm with Walesa at the head of angry workers in Gdansk. The renewed protests brought the communists to the negotiating table with Solidarity, to discuss the terms of democratization. Mazowiecki authored many of these terms.