Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Friday voiced "deep sadness" at the death of his friend Marco Pannella, the veteran Italian radical politician, rights campaigner and peace activist.
"The Dalai Lama learned of Marco Pannella's death and expressed deep sadness at this news," the Dalai Lama's aide, Tenzin Taklha told Adnkronos in an interview.
"He has asked everyone to join in praying for him [Pannella]," Taklha added.
Pannella died in a clinic in Rome on Thursday aged 86 had frequently been hospitalised in recent years. He had been diagnosed with tumours in his lung and liver and had frequently gone on hunger strikes to protest prison overcrowding in Italy..
The Dalai Lama sent a message to Pannella in March saying he was sorry about his worsening health. The message described Pannella as "a personal friend and unwavering friend of the Tibetan people".
Pannella, who in 1955 founded the Italian Radical Party, a bastion of liberalism, was known as a peacenik and freedom campaigner, playing a key role in post-war campaigns to legalise divorce and abortion.