Ilves meets with Dalai Lama

  • 2011-08-18
  • TBT Staff

TALLINN -- Estonian President Toomas Hendrick Ilves has met with the Dalai Lama during the Tiben spiritual leader's three-day visit to the country.

“The religion and culture of Tibet are truly unique, and maintaining them for future generations is one of the great humanistic duties of our time,” the president said.

The Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, arrived in Tallinn on Aug. 16. He met with the president and members of parliament on Aug. 17.

The president's meeting with the Dalai Lama can in spite of a letter of protest from the Chinese embassy demanding that no foreign leader meet with the exiled spiritual leader. In a nod to diplomacy, President Ilves confirmed his support for the Estonian government's continuing One China policy, emphasising his conviction that Tibetan history, religion and culture enrich the People’s Republic of China in the broadest possible sense.

“The careful, even sympathetic protection and fostering of the cultures, beliefs and languages of minorities living within majorities is something that enriches us all,” said the president. “It makes us more open, and it makes us wiser.”