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Dalai Lama Arrives in Paris, No Plans to Meet French President བོད་སྐད།


Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has arrived in France for a 12-day visit that coincides with the ongoing Beijing Summer Olympics.

The Dalai Lama arrived Monday on a visit that will include religious teachings, as well as a meeting with French lawmakers on Wednesday.

A Paris-based human rights group says French Senate speaker Christian Poncelet has decided to exclude media from the Wednesday meeting. Reporters Without Borders accuses the French parliamentarian of trying to reduce media attention to please the Chinese government.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced last week that he would not meet with the Dalai Lama, after dismissing warnings from the Chinese government about a possible meeting with the Nobel Peace Prize winner.

The French president attended the opening ceremony of the Olympics Friday.

After China's crackdown on Tibetan protests earlier this year, Mr. Sarkozy had said he would not attend the opening ceremony unless there was progress on talks between Beijing and representatives of the Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama's representatives have met twice with Chinese officials since protests in Tibet began in March.

The Chinese government accuses the Dalai Lama of orchestrating the protests in order to split Tibet from China and undermine the games.

The Dalai Lama advocates greater autonomy for the region and has repeatedly voiced support for China's hosting of the Olympics. He released a statement last week saying he hopes the Games will contribute to promoting the Olympic spirit of friendship, openness and peace.

French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy will participate in a Buddhist temple dedication overseen by the Dalai Lama in southern France on August 22nd.

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