Paris, 19 August (Office of Tibet, Paris)—Lourdes, one of the world’s most prominent Christian pilgrimage sites, hosted the Peace Day on 14 August. In tow with UNESCO’s initiative of Peace Manifesto and the opening of the Culture of Peace Decade, the city has been organising events aimed at promoting peace among the nations and peoples since 2000.
This year, Mayor Jean Pierre Artiganave invited delegations representing Israel, Palestine and Tibet to discuss and lay down a Peace Charter.
The event began in the morning with a talk before the public and media. Aaron Barnea and Sarig Tsurit from Israel, Rihab Essawi and Naeim Tamazeh of Palestine, Matthieu Ricard and Wangpo Bashi, representing Tibet, gave testimonies of their respective efforts in promoting a culture peace in the face of acute sufferings and adversity.
The Israeli and the Palestinian delegations belonged to the NGO Families Forum, Parents circle, whose members, despite having suffered heavy in their rspective freedom struggles, continue to initiate social exchanges and meetings at grassroot level to create and promote peace. They narrated moving accounts of their personal ordeals and how they see peace could still be established.
Matthieu Ricard gave a brief sketch of the contemporary history of Tibet, with concrete examples of how Tibetan people lived peace culture.
Wangpo Bashi, drawing from his own experiences in exile, spoke about the determination of the Tibetan leadership to peaceably resolve the Tibet issue through negotiations. He said that the recent developments in the Sino-Tibetan dialogue bolster the hope for the resolution of the Tibet issue.
Mr Marco Zacchera, MP of Italy and Vice President of the Western European Union, gave an account of his official visits to the Middle East and Tibet. He recollected that he was shocked to see the Chinese efforts to replace everything Tibetan in Tibet.
Mrs Chantal Robin Rodrigo, French MP, who visited Dharamsala in March this year, reflected on the importance of supporting the Tibetan people and their leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in their peaceful and just struggle.
In a closed-door session at the Mayor Hall in the after, the delegates laid down the five-point Peace Charter. The Charter calls for the promotion of peace culture based on respect for human life, awareness on the history and culture of other peoples, organisation of meetings enabling dialogue, creation of peace ambassadors comprising younger generations and initiate actions that support these principles.
The Charter will be forwarded to the UN, EU, Council of Europe, and major national, regional and international agencies, as well as embassies.