Dalai Lama set to be honorary citizen of Paris
The mayor of Paris has asked the city council to make the Tibetan spiritual leader an honorary citizen.16 April 2008
PARIS - The mayor of Paris, where the Olympic torch relay last week turned to chaos amid pro-Tibet protests, said Wednesday he would ask the city council to make the Dalai Lama an honorary citizen of the city.
The decision will "pay tribute to a champion of peace, a tireless advocate of dialogue between people", said Bertrand Delanoe.
"Paris also wants to show its support for the people of Tibet who are defending their most basic right to dignity, freedom and simply life," said the mayor in a statement.
The city council will on Monday take up the proposal on the Dalai Lama, Tibet's spiritual leader who lives in exile in India where he fled after a failed 1959 uprising against Chinese rule of his Himalayan land.
The Dalai Lama is to visit France in August when China hosts the Olympic Games that have drawn much controversy from human rights advocates concerned by a recent crackdown in Tibet.
The Olympic torch relay through Paris last week descended into chaos after protesters and pro-Tibet demonstrators took to the streets to condemn Beijing's rights records.
France and other western governments have called on Beijing to enter into dialogue with the Dalai Lama on Tibet.
[AFP / Expatica]