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Tibet-Minister-France-2014Dharamshala: - The Kalon for the Department of Information and International Relations of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), Ms. Dicki Chhoyang, is finishing up a six-day visit to France this week. Her tour began on 4 December in Bordeaux after which she continued to Toulouse, Lavaur and Grenoble. She concludes her trip on 10 December in Paris where she will commemorate the 25th anniversary of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize.

The goal throughout her tour is to increase awareness within France and their Tibetan community of the situation in Tibet. In an interview with Emmanuelle Rey of "La Depeche," Kalon acknowledged France's great sympathie for Tibet, "It's important to thank all who have mobilised for our culture. One of the priorities of my tour is to raise awareness among a new audience, to familiarize them with the Middle Way Approach...in order to protect the culture and identity of the Tibetan people...It is also to show the younger generations that non-violence is an effective method, a means from which we will never stray."

Kalon Dicki Chhoyang has already met with members of the Chinese community at a round table conference where she discussed her opinion on the expansion of the Chinese Outreach programme and the Middle Way Approach of the CTA. "We can be a friend to China and also help to resolve the Tibetan question. We are fighting against the policy of China toward Tibet, not against the Chinese population, which is just as much a victim as we are. Even in France, Chinese students are kept under surveillance, conditioned, it is hard for them to understand another version," Kalon said to "La Depeche."

On 6 December, Kalon was received in Toulouse by local Tibetans, members of Tibetan support groups, and the mayors of Salle sur Garonne and Carbonne--both municipalities which participated in the adoption campaign of Tibetan villages. Despite inclement weather conditions, over a hundred Tibetans and local supporters waited late into the evening to hear Kalon speak. In this speech, Kalon urged supporters to further educate themselves on the Memorandum of Genuine Autonomy for Tibetan People established by the CTA to be more aware of Tibet's goals and create a more united Tibet to counteract false propoganda from the People's Republic of China.

The tour also included visits to two important centres of Tibetan Buddhism: Institut Vajra Yogini and the Nalanda Institute where Kalon met with local Tibet supporters and religious leaders. Her interactions with religious leaders focused on the preservation of Tibetan cultural values and ways to teach the importance of the Tibetan language, cultural heritage and distinct identity to young Tibetans.

Lastly, Kalon touched on the ecological issues within Tibet, telling "La Depeche" that the Tibetan struggle today, "Is that of the survival of a people, but it is also a question of environmental ethics: how to protect the delicate ecosystem of the Tibetan Plateau--the source of the rivers that nourish a quarter of the world's population--how to handle the mineral resources, and how to put an end to the forced settlement of the nomads."

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