Milan, Italy — The spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama ended his time in the Czech Republic with a meeting in the Czech Senate on October 20th. He was welcomed on arrival by Miluse Horska, Vice-Chair of the Senate, who escorted him into a meeting with 14 Senators and 34 Deputies.
His Holiness addressed the dignitaries, saying, "After the collapse of communism, this country was among the first to institute democracy under President Havel's leadership. What I always tell people is that we are all the same as human beings, physically, mentally and emotionally. We all have the potential to do damage, just as we all have the potential to do good. Irrespective of whether we have any religious faith or not, we are all human beings. Using our intelligence we can assess the extent to which anger, jealousy and self-centeredness detract from our interests, while compassion and concern for others serve them. This is something I always talk about when I meet with other people and I'm not talking as a Buddhist or as the Dalai Lama, I'm talking about our common experience as human beings."
Thus wrapping up his time in the capital of the Czech Republic, he departed for Milan the next day, where he was welcomed by Mayor Guiseppe Sala and met the Cardinal of Milan, Angelo Scola.
His Holiness began, "Respected spiritual leaders, my spiritual brothers, I'm extremely happy to be here with you. On my first visit to Europe in 1973, during the time of His Holiness Pope Paul VI, who I think of as the Italian Pope, my first stop was in Italy. Now on this visit to Italy, my first engagement is to meet here with you.
In the afternoon, His Holiness was welcomed onto the stage of the University of Milan-Bicocca by members of the faculty who introduced him to the audience of 2400 staff and students. Chairman of the Council of Milan, Lamberto Bertolè presented the Honorary Citizenship of the City of Milan to His Holiness, who accepted and teasingly enquired what his rights and duties would be.
After accepting his honorary citizenship, His Holiness addressed the students, saying, "I'm very happy to meet particularly with young people like you. I belong to the generation of the 20th century—our time is over. But you, who belong to the generation of the 21st century, have both the opportunity and responsibility to create a better world for the future."
His Holiness is scheduled to do a public teaching in Milan beginning the 21st and will officially end his five-country tour of Europe on the 23rd.