Historic Visit

The following article is from the Autumn, 1989 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here.

Costa Rica's contribution to the world is exceptional because it has shown that a small country can successfully pursue its own independent policy of peace, the Dalai Lama said. Costa Rica abolished its army in 1948. The Tibetan leader pointed out that, others could leam from this example, and he made a reference to his own Five-Point Peace Plan for the future of Tibet.

We hope and dream, he said, that Tibet will someday be transformed into a true peace sanctuary, an entirely demilitarized area, and the world's largest natural park or biosphere.

The Dalai Lama, the world's foremost Buddhist leader, and Archbishop Arrieta joined by local Indian religious leaders and leaders from three other religions, including Baha'i, Judaism and Islam held their first ever interfaith service in Latin America on June 27 in Cartago's Basilica de Los Angeles.

The religious leaders, reciting or chanting in their native language, in the presence of thousands of followers of different creeds, called for brotherhood among religions and the strengthening of understanding between peoples as the foundation of peace and the sharing responsibility for a common destiny.

While the conference has a decidedly spiritual focus, said Dr. Brenes, it is a spirituality rooted in day-to-day life and sustainable development. Sustainable development is a type of living which responds to our present necessities without compromising the capacity of future generations to satisfy their necessities. Costa Rica is a world leader in the sustainable-development model because of this nation's policy of preserving its natural wealth in parks.

Other noted speakers during the five-day conference include: Eco-theologist Father Thomas Berry ; Lord David Ennals, a member of British House of Lords, and the co-director of the United Nations-backed Wbrid Cooperation for a Better Vtforid and a Cherokee spiritual leader Dhyani Ywahoo.

The conference concluded on June 30 with the reading of the Declaration of Human Responsibility for Peace and Sustainable Development, by President Arias. The President has agreed to present the document to the U.N. General Assembly this fell where organizers hope it will be adopted as a Universal Charter touching all nations.

Impressions of His Hoi mess's visit to Costa Rica

Historic was the description most often used in Costa Rica1, and most applicable to this visit, from the Tibetan perspective and from that of the hosts.

Costa Rica, a small country, but with a well-earned reputation as a nation committed to peace and protection of nature, officially welcomed and received His Holiness the Dalai Lama. On his arrival on June 25, His Holiness was met at the airport by Minister for Energy and Environment, Mr. Umena; Presidential Protocol Officer Anna Ross and other government officials.

On June 27 at the Presidential Palace His Holiness the Dalai Lama and President Arias met privately to discuss threats to world peace, protection of natural environment and potential solutions. Following the meeting, President Arias and the First Lady hosted a luncheon in his honor at the Presidential Palace, attended by Costa Rican Minister of Foreign Affairs Rodrigo Madrigal Nieto, members of the Cabinet and other government officials.

The visit, described as auspicious by the Tibetan leader because of increasing world attention on human rights and protection of the earth's resources, also paid tribute to Costa Rica's growing leadership in these fields.

It is not enough to speak of peace and protection, said the Dalai Lama, adding that the intentions must be put into action in the way Costa Rica has done.

In Costa Rica, people from all walks of lifePresident Arias and the first lady, former President Dr. Carazo and the Foreign Minister Rodrigo Madrigal Nieto and academics, church officials, students and ordinary citizens, young and oldexpressed the thought that the presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Costa Rica was a wonderful event for the country. Some even called His Holiness the Dalai Lama II Papa, the term of endearment and affection for His Holiness the Pope.

Both electronic and print media coverage of His Holiness's visit were thorough and extensive.

The Costa Rican government provided security to His Holiness befitting to his stature and position. The motorcade was led by four police motor cycles, police patrol cars and an ambulance. All the intersections were manned by police for the motorcade to pass through.

image

His Holiness the Dalai Lama meeting with Mexico's President Carlos Salinas de Gortari on July 3, 1989 at the Presidential Palace.

His Holiness's Visit to Mexico

Mexico CityAfter an emotional farewell given by President and Mrs. Oscar Arias, Archbishop Ramon Arrieta and hundreds of wellwishers. His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived in Mexico City, Mexico, on June 30. At the airport His Holiness was received by the officials of Mexican government and the Autonomous Metropolitan University which invited the Tibetan leader to address and participate in an academic international conference on Global Priorities.

Despite protests and threats from the Chinese ambassador in Mexico City, Mexico's President Carlos Salinas de Gortari invited His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Presidential Palace and met with him. The meeting lasted over 30 minutes.

Shortly after his arrival His Holiness joined the Archbishop of Mexico, Ernesto Corripio Ahumada, with 11 other leaders of different religious faiths for the country's first interfaith service for peace at the city's main Cathedral. Religious leaders in their formal robes proceeded to the stage in a procession led by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Archbishop and each leader recited or chanted prayers for world peace. More than 2,000 people attended the service and the event was widely covered by the Mexican media.

Gathered at the International Conference on Global Priorities organized by the Autonomous Metropolitan University, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and prominent speakers from Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Japan and Costa Rica addressed a captive audience of about 500 people.

NEWS TIBET: May - August 1989

Back to all Snow Lion Articles