His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Paris

June 8th 2009

Paris, France, 6 June 2009 - His Holiness Dalai Lama arrived in Paris this morning. At Charles de Gaulle airport, he was welcomed by representatives of the Mayoral Authority of Paris, the Embassy of India, the Tibetan community in France, Dagpo Rinpoche and Pema Wangyal Rinpoche whose Dharma centres have participated in the organisation of the visit. During a brief interview with journalists at the airport, His Holiness said he was happy to be in France again, having been invited to receive Honorary Citizenship of Paris. In answer to questions about the current situation in Tibet, His Holiness criticised the harsh policies of the Chinese government, which he said resembled a death sentence on an ancient civilisation. 

His Holiness' convoy then left for the city centre with police motor escort and full security protection provided by the French Ministry of the Interior.

During the afternoon, His Holiness was interviewed by a journalist from the German weekly, Der Spiegel. The interview centred on the current financial and economic crisis, of which His Holiness claimed no expert knowledge but which, he said, could teach us to look beyond material values and unrealistic expectations of limitless growth. When things go seriously wrong, it is often because a new reality is still being viewed with outdated concepts, and this is certainly also the case in the domain of international relations.

His Holiness then received a delegation of French parliamentarians from both houses who are members of the Study Group for Tibet. Many of them had visited His Holiness in Dharamsala on several occasions as well as receiving him during his visits to France. The news from Tibet is almost uniformly bad, His Holiness told them. He retraced the history of recent contacts between his representatives and their Chinese counterparts. At their fifth meeting, in February 2006, he said, the Chinese officials acknowledged that His Holiness was not asking for independence from China. But soon afterwards, in April 2006, the Chinese government's groundless accusations of his


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