Deputy Lionnel Luca (centre), speaking to reporters in front of the Chinese Embassy. (File photo: Tenam)
Paris, July 11 - In response to the threat by the Chinese Ambassador to France, Lionnel Luca, a French deputy has called for protest in front of the Chinese Embassy next Tuesday. The Chinese Ambassador had warned of "dire consequences" if the French President meets with the Dalai Lama during his visit here in August.
Calling it "unheard of and offensive", Mr. Luca who is the President of the Tibet Study Group in the French parliament said that the French President will not take "orders from a representative of another state with regard to anything."
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, speaking at the European parliament, rejected Chinese pressure not to meet the Dalai Lama, saying it was not up to Beijing to set his agenda.
Talking to reporters yesterday after being summoned by the French foreign minister the Chinese Ambassador repeated his threats.
After the widespread protest erupted in Tibet in March, a group of French deputies led by Mr. Luca asked for a visa to visit Tibet that was not approved.
In a letter to other deputies Mr. Luca called upon them to join him in protest "to testify with dignity, our disapproval and to get visas requested 4 months ago to go to Tibet since it has recently been open again to foreigners".
With regard to Sarkozy's presence at the opening ceremony in Beijing, it is hoped that the French president will raise the Tibet issue.
In an open letter to the French President, the Tibetan Community of France, called upon Mr. Sarkozy to meet with the Dalai Lama.
"An immediate end to the Chinese repression in Tibet, allowing independent observers and journalist into Tibet, and talks between the Dalai Lama and Hu Jintao on the future of Tibet, are three concrete things that will ease the situation in Tibet," wrote Mr. Thupten Gyatso from the Tibetan Community of France.