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Bureau-du-Tibet-France-Paris-Senators-2016Paris— The new Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Bureau du Tibet Thursday met with the French Senate Tibet Group, led by Group President at the French Senate, in Paris, the capital of France.

Tashi Phuntsok, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the Bureau du Tibet, Brussels, October 27, called on Michel Raison, the President of the Tibet Group in the French Senate. The Representative was accompanied by Secretary of the Bureau du Tibet, Paris Tsering Dhondup.

Phuntsok who has worked more than 35 years in service of Tibetan community since 1977, recently appointed as the new Bureau du Tibet Representative for Brussels, by Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the democratically elected leader of the Tibetan people.

During an hour long meeting, the two sides discussed on the issues ranging from strengthening of collaboration in the French Parliament, future course of action and sharing of information vis-à-vis situation inside Tibet, according to the Brussels based Bureau du Tibet.

Michel Raison was joined by his Parliamentary Assistant Charlotte Braud, and Theirry Munier, the Administrative Secretary of the Tibet Group in the French upper house.

The Senate Tibet Group, officially known as International Group of Information on Tibet, was created in year 2000 and currently has 22 members representing all sections of the French political parties. Since its inception, the Group has been able to lead two delegations to Dharamshala in May 2005, and May 2013.

A four member delegation representing the Group had also visited Lhasa in August 2006, "to listen to the official position of the Chinese leadership on the question of Tibet, and to examine the economic, social and cultural situation in Tibet Autonomous region," according to a release by the Group after the visit.

The Senate Group has been able to host, despite growing pressure, His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the French Senate, during his recent visit to Paris on September 14. He was attending an informal breakfast meeting with 30 Senators and Deputies, who lined up to greet him at the top of the stairs. Senator Michel Raison welcomed His Holiness and invited him to speak to them.

His Holiness mentioned how impressed he is by the spirit of the European Union, which shows it is possible to put the past behind us and adapt to a new reality. He expressed hope that the spirit of Europe will eventually be extended to Russia, Africa and Asia. He said this is the future of the world, because we have to live as one family and the spirit of the European Union exemplifies how this can be done.

"It's very helpful that you are able to express concern for Tibet. When you have the opportunity, please let your Chinese counterparts know of your support. The People's Republic of China is still run by the same party according to the same system, and yet things are changing there," he told the French lawmakers.

"Even the hard-liners find themselves in a dilemma, they talk about harmony in unity and yet their policies have achieved neither. I sometimes wonder if these hard-liners are missing the part of the brain that governs common sense."

"As more Chinese students and tourists come and gain experience of the free world they can learn that we are equally human beings with the freedom to think and speak as we will. It's in China's interest to open up to the world and when they do their contribution will be valuable."

The Tibetan leader also told them of the Chinese ecologist who established that the climate impact of the Tibetan plateau is as great as the North and South Poles, so he referred to Tibet as the Third Pole. He expressed his concern about the deforestation that has taken place and the way local Tibetans' objections to mining have been overruled. Adding that he often recommends that parliamentary groups go to Tibet to see for themselves what's happening to the environment.

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