Paris awards Dalai Lama honorary citizenship

June 8th, 2009 - 2:01 am ICT by IANS  

Paris, June 8 (DPA) Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe conferred the city’s honorary citizenship on the Dalai Lama Sunday, despite Chinese protests that the award was an interference in Chinese domestic political affairs.
To limit Chinese anger, the honour was awarded to the 73-year-old exiled spiritual leader of Tibet at a discreet ceremony at the Paris City Hall.

The Dalai Lama had been named an honorary citizen of Paris on April 22, 2008, four months before the Beijing Olympics, a decision that enraged Chinese authorities.

A later meeting in Germany between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the Dalai Lama further heightened diplomatic tensions between Paris and Beijing that have only recently been resolved.

The Chinese accuse the Dalai Lama of having fomented the anti-Chinese demonstrations in Tibet ahead of the Olympics.

Also on Sunday, the Dalai Lama held a lecture in Paris before some 8,000 people on the topic Ethics and Society.

Ahead of his Paris award, the Polish capital Warsaw had also named the Dalai Lama an honorary citizen on May 28, after an unanimous vote by city councillors.

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