PARIS: Continuing his seven nation European tour, Kalon Tripa of Central Tibetan Administration, Dr Lobsang Sangay arrived at Paris for a one-day visit on last Saturday (26 November).Kalon Tripa was received at the Charles De Guale airport by Secretary of Bureau du Tibet, Paris, president and vice-president of Tibetan community and the secretary of Maison du Tibet. The French authorities arranged special protocol reception at the airport for the Kalon Tripa.
In his hectic one day programme, the Kalon Tripa met with some government officials, members of the Senate and the National Assembly, members of Tibetan community, French think-tank officials and French Tibet supporters as well as people from the French media.
Kalon Tripa was hosted at the French Senate by Mr Jean Francois Humbert, the president of the Friends of Tibet Group in the Senate for an hour long discussion on the situation inside Tibet and ways to strengthen support for Tibet.
Mr Humbert informed Kalon Tripa about the recent re-election of the Senate members, and assured reformation of the Tibet Friendship group very soon.
Kalon Tripa exchanged with Mr Humbert information on current situation inside Tibet and the status of his administration following His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s historic move of devolving his political powers in March this year.
Thereafter, Kalon Tripa met with around 350 members of the Tibetan community in France. He called on the Tibetan community to maintain unity and to work for the Tibet cause in whatever way possible.
He informed the gathering about his administration’s priority on education and professionalism and urge members of Tibetan community to work hard in this direction as well.
Giving his own example, Kalon Tripa explained about the meagre and limited resources under which the officials of the Central Tibetan Administrations have to work and commended them for their resolve and determination and urged each Tibetan also to contribute in whatever way possible.
To start with the programme, one minute silence was observed to pay homage to the brave men and women of Tibet who have lost their lives, and who are still suffering greatly under the PRC’s repression, for their courage and sacrifice.
In the afternoon, Kalon Tripa travelled to the 11th District of Paris, where he first held a brief press conference with the French media, and answered ranges of questions put forth by them.
Thereafter, Kalon Tripa met with the members of French Tibet support groups, around 100 of them representing 25 different support groups and associations. Representatives from different Buddhist learning centers and some French scholars also attended the meeting.
Kalon Tripa expressed his gratitude to all the French supporters for the long-standing support and sympathy they have extended to the people of Tibet and urged them to continue with their solidarity and support until freedom in Tibet is restored.
He said that it was the French revolution that proclaimed the principles of “Liberty, Justice and Truth” and now is the time for the people, leaders and government of France to live up to their own principles and values by taking a stand for Tibet at this critical juncture.
During the meetings, Kalon Tripa explained the leadership change following His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s devolution of political powers to a democratically elected political leader, which he said, happens to be him, and reaffirmed the continuity and legitimacy of the political leadership established by the Great Fifth Dalai Lama in 1642 AD.
Kalon Tripa also spoke about the critical situation inside Tibet and particularly the series of tragic and desperate acts of self-immolations that Tibetan monks and nuns have resorted to in the recent past and asked for both the French parliament and government to issue statements expressing concern over growing repression inside Tibet, which has led to these acts of “desperation and hopelessness”.
Kalon Tripa reiterated his administration’s resolve of not encouraging any kind of protests, including self-immolations inside Tibet, for he said, he knew what the consequences are of such actions: arrests, torture and imprisonment etc.
But he pointed out the fundamental causes of these desperate acts on the occupation of Tibet by PRC, increasing crackdown and clampdown following the 2008 uprising and the repressive policies implemented by the Chinese authorities in Tibet more recently.
The mayor of the Paris district 11, Mr Patrick Bloche, who is also a deputy in the National Assembly and vice-president of the Tibet Group, also met Kalon Tripa before the conclusion of the meeting with the TSGs.
The mayor expressed his happiness to have hosted Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay in his Mayorial and Office.
Before leaving for Brussels, Kalon Tripa met with some analysts from the Directorate of Strategic Affairs, a French think-tank and exchanged information pertaining to the recent developments within and outside of Tibet.
Some of the French Tibet supporters had to say this after their meeting with Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay: “Thank you for having me participate in this very important visit for this great man. We will do everything we can to see that the media speak about him and his actions. It was truly a beautiful event! ‘ said Stephanie, a volunteer.
“Congratulations on your people’s choice of leader and on this historical visit to Paris”, another supporter wrote.
Kalon Tripa Dr Lobsang Sangay will be keynote speaker at the Tibet Intergroup Conference 2011 on Genuine Autonomy to be held on 29 November in the European Parliament, Brussels, during his three day programme in Belgium, before leaving for the UK for the last leg of his European visit.