2005-Tibet Year in France Launched
Paris, 2 March 2005:Year 2005 was formally launched as the Year of Tibet in France today. Ms Veronique Jannot, a well-known French actress and Patron of the Year of Tibet launched it at the French National Assembly by showing her 20-minute documentary, “Through the Eyes of the Dakinis” and a political commentary of slides by Michel Legein, entitled, “Lhasa Today”. The documentary, introduced by Sogyal Rinpoche, visualised her visits to Gangtok and Dharamsala and her interviews of Khandro Tsering Choedon and Mrs Jestun Pema. It was a testament of her contacts with Tibetans, Tibetan exiled life, respect for Tibetan culture and spirituality and indeed her contribution to support Tibet.
Earlier Mr. Lionnel Luca, President of Tibet Group in the French National Assembly and initiator of Tibet Year in France, introduced Ms Jannot and briefed the gathering about the year of Tibet. He said, “Last year a lot was talked about China in France. Let us talk a lot of Tibet this year.” (Last year the French government observed the year of China in France and this year China is observing year of France in China.) The dossier released to the press, specified 16 various activities being planned by various Tibet support groups during the year and another 13 events being envisaged by different French State and Regional offices.
Mr Tashi Phuntsok, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for Western Europe, thanked Mr Luca for his initiative and to Ms Jannot for her deep involvement with Tibet affairs. He pointed out that of many years of Tibet having been observed around the world in the past, the one in France is remarkable because it is initiated by the French Parliamentray group for Tibet. He further added that on top of the list of activities mentioned in the dossier, and many that would be planned later, three big events are being planned in the months of June, September and December. He hoped that with these events the campaign for Tibet in France will reach a different level, eventually.
Mr. Luca concluded the event by quoting Mr. Vaclav Havel, former President of Czech Republic, a statement that appeared in the French daily Le Monde on 24 February 2005. It said, “In Europe, for me who comes from a country that had suffered the “politics of appeasement”, too many politicians and or European institutions are too conciliatory with the devil. They lack energy to defend the values that they profess and which appears in the preamble of the proposed European constitution”. It is evident that this state of affairs in Europe has propelled Mr. Luca not only to undertake strong and open campaigns as the declaration of Year of Tibet but as radical a move as spearheading the successful boycott of Chinese President’s speech in the National Assembly.
Meanwhile, the Bureau du Tibet, has participated in five events on Tibet already. The Tibet-Week in Verneuil-sur-Seine, from February 1-6 organised by CSPT and indeed attended by Mr Luca; an event in Paris by AET on February 19; 3-day Tibet events in Crest, Drome Valley in South France under the patronage of Mr. Herve Mariton, the Mayor and MP of the region, from February 25-28 and organised by Ms Chaix Broussad; Tibet Day in Amien in the north on March 1, organised in collaboration with regional government, municipality and the University of Amien and by AEMT, France Tibet, ACAT and Amnesty International.
Report courtesy: OoT France