Hundreds of Tibetans and supporters on Saturday, 8 September received the Flame of Truth at the Pagode, Bois de Vincennes in Paris. The campaign was launched by the Tibetan parliament in exile to draw international attention to the deepening political crisis and heavy clampdown by the Chinese security forces following the self-immolation of 51 Tibetans calling for the freedom in Tibet and return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet.
The European leg of the Flame of Truth relay was launched on 2 September, the day Tibetan Democracy was founded in exile, from Barcelona, Spain.
The Flame entered France on 7 September in Toulouse, where a huge rally was organised by the Tibetan community and Tibetans supporters in front of the City Hall.
Traversing through the French cities and towns, the flame made a stopover in Bourges, a town about 3 hours from Paris, where monks from Ladakh who are on a tour of France and many French supporters received the Flame at around 10.30 am on 8 September.
On its arrival in Paris at around 6 pm, the members of the Tibetan community and French supporters among whom were Senator Andre Gattolin, Regional Council member of Ile de France Mr. Jean Marc Brule, French actress Veronique Janot and representatives from various French support groups.
Members from the Chinese Democratic Party (Europe) and Tibet-Chine Friendship Alliance also took part in the brief ceremony that coincided with the annual Cultural Festival of the Tibetan Community in France.
The leaders and the members of the French community present during the ceremony expressed their support for the just cause of Tibet and assured to continue to press the French govt to take a definitive and concrete steps to bring a peaceful resolution of the crises in Tibet.
On 9 September, the Torch was taken to the famous place du Trocadero, where a signature campaign was held. The place known historically for the signing of the Declaration of Human Rights is frequented by tourists from around the world.
A solidarity rally with the Flame of Truth is scheduled for 10 September under the aegis of Tibetan Community in France to conclude in front of the Chinese embassy.
The Flame leaves for London, UK on 11 September to continue its 22 nation tour before it concludes at Geneva, Switzerland on December 10.
Report filed by Bureau du Tibet, Paris