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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?"

French Lawmakers Demand Visas for Tibet

March 17, 2008

Paris, March 16, 2008 (AFP)  - A group of French lawmakers urged China
at the weekend to grant them visas allowing them to visit the Tibetan
capital of Lhasa, rocked by violence and protests.

The 62 members of a parliamentary task force on Tibet asked the Chinese
ambassador to issue them with "the necessary visas so that the deputies
of the Tibet group can travel to Lhasa as early as this week," said
Lionnel Luca, president of the bipartisan group.

The Tibetan protests are the biggest since 1989 and began in Lhasa on
March 10, the 49th anniversary of a failed uprising that led the Dalai
Lama to flee into exile in India.

The state-run Xinhua news agency said 10 people died in Friday's
protests, while the Tibetan government-in-exile at Dharamshala in
northern India told AFP it could confirm eight times that number.

"The bloody repression of peaceful marches by Tibetans and their monks
reminds the world of the ugly reality behind today's biggest
dictatorship," said a statement issued by the parliamentary group on
Saturday.

Former Socialist minister and deputy Jack Lang separately said France
should boycott the Beijing Olympics this summer to protest China's
policies, in particular in Tibet.

"This international cowardice toward Tibet is unacceptable," Lang said.
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