Below is an article published by Central Tibetan Administration:
His Holiness the Dalai Lama will arrive in Rome, the capital of
Italy on 8 February 2009 in the first leg of his visit to Europe. Rome and
Venice will honour His Holiness the Dalai Lama for his contribution to
world peace and human rights. In Baden Baden, Germany, His Holiness the
Dalai Lama will be bestowed the Deutsche Medienpreis (the German Media
Prize) for his spirit of "reconciliation, tolerance, humility and respect"
and for representing "the non-violent struggle for the rights of the
This is His Holiness the Dalai Lama's first trip abroad in 2009. The visit
comes as Tibetans worldwide are preparing to commemorate the 50th
anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising against Chinese rule in
His Holiness the Dalai Lama is visiting Rome at the invitation of its
Mayor, Gianni Alemanno, to receive the honourary citizenship of Rome on 9
February . The Rome City Council had approved by an overwhelming majority a
motion in September 2008 to the conferral of Honorary Citizenship to His
Holiness for "his international efforts to find a peaceful solution for
Tibet and for having affirmed the principles of human rights and peaceful
conflict-resolution between nations."
His Holiness the Dalai Lama will then travel to Venice to receive that
city's honourary citizenship. The Venice City Council unanimously approved
a resolution for this purpose on 29 July 2008.
Media Control, one of Germany's leading market-research companies as well
as an interpreter in media-studies, analysis, and evaluation, will present
His Holiness the Dalai Lama the Deutsche Medienpreis (the German Media
Prize) on 10 February in Baden Baden. A 20-member jury consisting of
Germany's most important and influential media chief editors voted His
Holiness the Dalai Lama for the 2008 Award.
The announcement said, "In a time of religious tension, self-destructive,
addiction to profit and ongoing violations of human rights, the Dalai Lama
actively advocates reconciliation, tolerance, humility and respect. He
represents the non-violent struggle for the rights of the Tibetan people,
a struggle he has been leading for over 50 years from exile in India."
Previous recipients of the German award include Nelson Mandela, Kofi
Annan, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, King Hussein of Jordan, and King
Juan Carlos of Spain.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama will return to India on 11 February .
Tseten Samdup Chhoekyapa, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
for Central and Eastern Europe said, "His Holiness the Dalai Lama feels
honoured to receive these awards in the spirit with which he received the
1989 Noble Peace Prize."
In His Holiness the Dalai Lama Nobel Peace lecture then , His Holiness had
said, "The awarding of the Nobel Prize to me, a simple monk from far away
Tibet ...fills us Tibetans with hope. It means that, despite the fact that
we have not drawn attention to our plight by means of violence, we have
not been forgotten... I am deeply touched by the sincere concern shown by
so many people in this part of the world for the suffering of the people
of Tibet. That is a source of hope not only for us Tibetans, but for all
"The visit to Italy and Germany by His Holiness the Dalai Lama comes at a
time when the Tibetan people in Tibet are facing increasing Chinese
crackdown," said Chhoekyapa. "The Chinese authorities in Tibet have
launched a 42-day "Strike Hard" campaign on 18 January 2009 resulting in
the arrest of over 5,766 Tibetans in Tibet and the crackdown has created
great fear amongst the Tibetans," he added. The Tibetan leadership in
exile has asked the Chinese authorities to immediately call-off the
"Strike Hard" campaign.
In His Holiness the Dalai Lama's message to the Chinese community on the
occasion of the Chinese New Year on 25 January 2009, His Holiness said, "I
hope and pray that in the coming year the People's Republic of China will
be able to create a meaningful harmonious society by ensuring equality,
justice and friendship among all its nationalities."