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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?"

Two-day 'Salon of Tibetan Culture' in Paris

April 29, 2009

By Tenam
Phayul
April 28, 2009

Paris, 27 April -- Thousands of Parisians joined
the two-day event organised by Tibetan Community
of France to highlight the rich culture of Tibet
and inform the French public about the present
condition inside Tibet this weekend in Paris. The
event saw debates, films, calligraphy, sand
mandala, photo exhibition, Tibetan food and products by Tibetan artisans.

The first day began with Sang sol, presided by
Thubten Ngodup, the medium of Nechung Oracle. Ven
Thubten Ngodup is touring France and is promoting
the French edition of his biography title
'Nechung, l'oracle du Dalai Lama', published by
Presses de la Renaissance. Later Geshe Thubten
Khedrup from Sera monastery gave a talk on 'Inner Peace through Compassion'.

Bernard Debord, the director of "Tibet, le
mensonge Chinoise ?" (Tibet, the Chinese lie?)
was there to respond to audiences' questions
after the film. The film chronicles the recent
history of Tibet since its occupation juxtaposing
Chinese newsreel and interviews of Tibetan
refugees who lived through those period and now are in exile.

"I have absolutely no doubt that the Chinese lie
about Tibet. The question mark after the title of
film was not my decision," he said.

Bernard Debord who speaks Chinese and had lived
in China for many years and even wrote a book
about the Tienanmen Massacre said that the Chinese only respect strength.

"That is why I think President Sarkozy has got it
all wrong in his approach towards China," he pointed out.

At a discussion title "Preserving Tibet's
Cultural Heritage,' Heather Stoddard, Professor
and head of the Tibet section at INALCO, French
institute specialising in Oriental language said
that Tibetans have lost more than just
monasteries since the Chinese occupation.

"Tibet had many beautiful forts, manors and
libraries that have been destroyed since the
occupation," she said. It is important that
Tibetans highlight this part of the destruction
of Tibetan cultural heritage, she added.

Katia Buffetrille, anthropologist and specialist
at EPHE, a University in Paris said that she has
no doubt that the Tibetan culture is "under threat today."

Domed Deputy Lhamo Kyab, who is teaching at
INALCO, outlined the history of Tibetan
literature since Nyatri Tsenpo, the first king to
the period of Songtsen Gampo, classifying it as
the age of oral tradition. Then the new period
where Buddhism played a very influential role in
the development of Tibetan literature.

"Since the 1950s Tibetans have found a new way to
expressing and this period can be classified as the modern period," he added.

Briefly touching on 'Ling Gesar' he said that
most of the writers today inside Tibet draw their
inspiration from this, the world's longest epic.

Wangpo Bashi from Bureau du Tibet, Paris spoke on
the subject of 'How the Communist Party of China
is trying to control Tibetan Buddhism'.

The second day of the event also had members of
Tibetan community presenting traditional dances
and singing. Loten Namling wowed the crowd in the
evening with his rendition of Bob Dylan's
'Blowing in the Wind'. He was also joined by
French Choir of St. Germain en Laye and Lobsang
Bondopatsang, Music instructor of Tibetan Community in France.
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
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