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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

Senate speaker excludes press from meeting with Dalai Lama

August 13, 2008

Reporters Without Borders
August 11, 2008

Reporters Without Borders calls on French senate speaker Christian
Poncelet to reverse his decision to exclude the press from a meeting
in Paris on 13 August between French parliamentarians and the Dalai
Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, who is due to arrive in France
tomorrow for a two-week visit.

"The senate speaker is trying yet again to please the Chinese
government by refusing to let the press cover a meeting between the
Dalai Lama and members of the French parliament," Reporters Without
Borders said. "Poncelet is portraying it as a strictly private visit
in which the senate does not want to be involved. But in practice, he
is trying to prevent the press talking about an event of great
importance for the Tibetan community."

Several journalists told Reporters Without Borders today that they
have been refused accreditation by the senate press office. In
reality, journalists will be banned from the senate altogether on 13 August.

President Nicolas Sarkozy has announced that he will not meet the
Dalai Lama, a Nobel peace laureate, during his visit. China's
ambassador to France had threatened reprisals in the event of such a meeting.
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