His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived in Milan, one of the most famous cities in the world on Thursday. Milan makes Dalai Lama their honorary citizen in a ceremony at the Teatro degli Arcimboldi, a theatre and opera house on Thursday afternoon. Though the officials were met with Chinese pressure as well as protest from the local Chinese community, the officials conferred Milan’s honorary citizenship to His Holiness in honor of Milan’s freedom.
Lamberto Bertole, Chairman of the Council of Milan, honoured the Dalai Lama with the Milan Honorary Citizenship award. The Dalai Lama will be in Milan for three days as part of his five European nation teaching tour that stretches between 10th October and 24th October.
“Milan mayor Giuseppe Sala greeted the Dalai Lama at the city’s Linate airport, and the Buddhist leader then met Milan’s Archbishop, Cardinal Angelo Scola, and made a visit to Milan’s Tibetan centre.” reports The Local. The mayor Sala had tweeted “Milan, an open city. In the past, the present and the future.” and shared a picture himself greeting the Dalai Lama.
“He also spoke to students at the city’s university, before officially being made a Milanese citizen in a ceremony at the Teatro degli Arcimboldi, a theatre and opera house. Officials presented the spiritual leader with a symbolic key to the city and a scroll representing Milan’s freedom.” added the report.
Milan is a favourite destination for Chinese investors according to reports. The Chinese Embassy in Rome said “the act has seriously wounded the feelings of the Chinese people” and said they are objecting it with “strong protest”. Moreover, Milan dignitaries such as mayor Giuseppe Sala, senior Roman Catholic cardinal Angelo Scola received the Dalai Lama warmly in public against China’s warning: “We are strongly against any contact or meetings with officials of other countries”.
The Dalai Lama’s visit to the Czech last week had also irked the Beijing government when the officials and the public alike warmly stood in receiving the Dalai Lama. China had vowed of retaliating against the Czech Republic.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama who is recognized around the world as one of the most inspiring leaders in the world for his efforts to bring out peace, China accuses him of being a separatist. He was felicitated with Noble Peace Prize in 1989 which is the most prestigious recognition given for his works from numerous awards he has been honored with around the world.