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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?"

Dalai Lama meets with Chinese community in Paris

June 9, 2009

By Tenam




Sunday, June 07, 2009




Paris, June 6- His Holiness the Dalai Lama met with Chinese students,
democracy activists and exiles at his hotel today after meeting with some
French lawmakers.




The Tibetan leader was welcomed earlier this morning on his arrival from
Netherlands by a small group of Tibetans, French Buddhists and admirers.




Stressing on people to people relationship, the Dalai Lama applauded the
efforts by Tibetans and Chinese in Paris for starting a friendship




"When we have interactions on a regular basis, then when a situation like
the last year's protests in Tibet happens, we have a ground for working to
solve any misunderstandings that arise. Otherwise we just end up shouting at
each other," he said.




Many Chinese participants shared their doubts about the sincerity of the
Beijing authorities and the practicability of the 'Middle Way Approach'. The
Dalai Lama responded that though he sometimes think many Tibetans support
his stance due to their faith, nevertheless, the 'Special Meeting' in
Dharamsala last year concluded in support of this path.




A group of around 50 Chinese and the Dalai Lama discussed a wide variety of
subjects - from His Holiness first visit to China, his exile and the
relation between the Tibetans in exile and the Beijing authorities.




He said that in 1956, on his first visit to India while situation in Tibet
deteriorated, at Nehru's behest, he returned instead of seeking asylum. He
said he also tried to negotiate a visit to Tibet in the early 80s and again
in 1992.




"In retrospect, I think I have been more useful being in exile. Otherwise I
might have suffered the fate of the late Panchen Lama," the Dalai Lama
pointed out.




Referring to accusations against the Tibetan Youth Congress as being
extremists, he said that they are firm in their commitment towards
non-violence though their political goal differs from his.




"Though I had some doubts about the timing of the protest, I was amazed by
the courage of the Tiananmen protesters in 1989," he said. For the Chinese
youths he reasoned that "it is important to look at all sides of an issue
and come to their own conclusion rather than blindly following the official




"Be firm in your commitment to truth and then persevere," advised the Dalai
Lama to the Chinese youth.




The Dalai Lama will meet with Tibetans and people from the Himalayan region
on Sunday morning and give a public conference titled 'Ethics and Society'
at Bercy sports complex. Later in the afternoon he is scheduled to meet the
Mayor of Paris and receive the 'citizen of honour’, which was passed by the
city of Paris last year.




The Green party members of the Paris council have hung portraits of the
Dalai Lama and of the Chinese dissident Hu Jia from the windows of their
offices near the city hall.
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