Toulouse, France, 12 August 2011 - Today, His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived in Toulouse from Geneva at around 1600 hrs. He was welcomedat the airport by Envoy Kelsang Gyaltsen and spiritual directors and members of the Organising Committee, Toulouse 2011. His Holiness also met with a group of the French medias at the airport lounge.
|His Holiness the Dalai Lama meets with journalists on his arrival in Toulouse, France, on 12 August 2011. Photo/Alexandra Silva
While speaking to the journalists, His Holiness extended his greetings to the people of France and expressed his happiness to have visited southern France once again. His Holiness told that the purpose of his visit was to carry on with his two lifelong commitments of promoting human values, warm heartedness and religious harmony, which he would be explaining in more detail during his three day long public interactions.
In a reply to question about the difference betweenhis current visit with that of the last many visits to France, His Holiness declared that this was his first visit to France without formalpolitical responsibility. His Holiness said that he was deeply influenced by the ideals of democracy since his youth and reaffirmed hisbelief of the world belonging to the humanity, and not to any king, religious leader, or a party. Consequently, he feels deep satisfaction and happiness over having voluntarily devolved his political and administrative powers to the elected Tibetan political leader last Monday on 8th August 2011.His Holiness also said that it was for the first time in Tibet's two thousand year long recorded history that a democratically elected political leader had taken over the helm of political leadership.
His Holiness further stated that there was growing calls for freedom, openness and transparency in China, and even cited the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's recent call for political reforms. Therefore, thereis also ground for optimism that significant changes will continue to take place in China with positive effects on the issue of Tibet in future. This is sign that China cannot escape from the current international trend towards more openness, freedom and democracy, He said.
|His Holiness is greeted by well-wishers on his arrival at his hotel in Toulouse, France, on 12 August 2011. Photo/Alexandra Silva|
His Holiness left the airport for hotel where he was received by a group of Tibetans, including Venerable Thupten Wangchen who is a member of Tibetan Parliament in exile and many friends of Tibet.
His Holiness will be giving teachings on Kamalashila's Middles Stages of Meditation for next two days followed by a public talk on 15thAugust. The teaching will be translated into eight languages including Chinese and Vietnamese.
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