The Dalai Lama received the honorary
citizenship of Rome during a formal ceremony at the city council. The mayor
honored him for "his international commitment to find a peaceful solution to the
problems of Tibet and spreading the principle of reaffirming human rights and
peace among peoples".
The Dalai Lama renewed his commitment to
non-violence at a ceremony in which he received the honorary citizenship of
Rome. Mayor Gianni Alemanno said the presence of the1989 Nobel peace laureate
represented a moral revolt against injustice, violence and oppression.
The 73-year-old exiled Tibetan leader said he is committed to three
things: promoting the value of the human individual, which has nothing to do
with belonging to or believing in one religion or another: promoting
inter-religious harmony and dialogue, and resolving the cause of
The Dalai Lama added that he believes the Tibetan people, knowing
that he is in Rome to receive this honorary citizenship, would feel less alone
and know they have not been abandoned.
Speaking after arriving in the
Italian capital on Sunday, the Dalai Lama said that the situation in Tibet
remains very serious following last year's crackdown by the Chinese authorities
on Buddhist monks.
"My faith towards the Chinese government since the end
of March, I publicly expressed, my faith now is becoming thinner and thinner,
however my faith towards Chinese people never shaken, and more Chinese
intellectuals, writers, are now expressing themselves about our cause very, very
positively," he said.
China has long accused the Dalai Lama of leading a
campaign to split Tibet from the rest of the country. But the Dali Lama says he
is only seeking greater autonomy for the region to protect its unique Buddhist
He added the social situation in Tibet is critical because
there is great resentment between the native Tibetan and the Chinese
The Dalai Lama later traveled to Venice from Rome where he is
also to become an honorary citizen of the lagoon city. He then travels on to
Baden Baden in Germany to receive a prize.