French Municipality Dedicates Year 2004 to Tibet
Dharamsala, 16 March: The municipality of Mouans-Sartoux, near the world famous Cannes in South France, has decided to observe 2004 as the year of Tibet as a protest against the French Government’s decision to observe 2004 as the Year of China. The municipality aims to highlight the deteriorating human rights situation of Tibet and to express its solidarity for Tibet. The municipality hoists the Tibetan national flag on its building on 10 March every year. It had also adopted Jampal Tender as prisoner of conscience.
The strong public support for Tibet in France is clear from that fact that 154 municipalities in France hoist Tibetan national flag through out the year and nearly 300 do so every 10 March. The office of Tibet, Paris, has thanked these municipalities and presented them with Tibetan national flags and copies of His Holiness’ 10 March statement of 2004. At a modest function to mark the observance of 2004 as the year of Tibet, Mr. Tashi Phuntsok, the representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in France, thanked the municipality of Mouans-Sartoux for their support. Mr. Andre Aschhieri, the Mayor of the city council and Mr. Lional Lucca, the President of Tibet Group in French National Assembly also addressed the gathering.
Nearly 500 people came to listen to Mr. Tashi Phuntsok’s talk on “Exile & Non-Violence by
the Tibetan people in the face of oppression”. Mr. Tashi spoke on the main facets of achievements in exile, mainly in the administration, rehabilitation, education, international relations and especially in democratisation process. He also emphasised why His Holiness and the Central Tibetan Administration have chosen nonviolence to resolve the issue of Tibet. As parts of its celebration of the year Mandala exhibition, Tibetan arts, films on Tibet, songs and dances and Cham (ritual mask dance), Photo-exhibition, conferences are in the pipeline. Mouans Sartoux will adopt young Panchen Lama and hold exposition on Tibetan children in November and close the year by conferring an honorary citizenship to His Holiness on 10 December- Human rights Day and day of Nobel peace prize conferment on His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
with inputs from office of Tibet, Paris