Dalai Lama blasts China on French trip

Aug. 23, 2008 at 8:50 AM

ROQUEREDONDE, France, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, touring France, says China is continuing its political crackdown in Tibet during the Beijing Summer Olympics.

In interviews given during a 12-day visit to France, and during a Friday meeting with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and French first lady Carla Bruni in southern France, the Dalai Lama pressed his case that Chinese repression in Tibet has not slowed down, The Times of London reported.

In comments to French media, the Dalai Lama said promises by Chinese President Hu Jintao in the run-up to the Olympics to show flexibility in Tibet were being ignored.

"Our envoys came up against a wall," he said. "There was no opening."

He also claimed 400 Tibetans had been killed by Chinese police in recent weeks, the newspaper said.

The Dalai Lama met Friday with Kouchner and Bruni at the dedication what is being called the largest Buddist temple in Europe, a new facility at Roqueredonde, France. The two, along with France's human rights minister, Rama Yade, met privately with the Dalai Lama.

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