Parisian local councillors made His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Chinese dissident Hu Jia honorary citizens of the City of Paris, at the risk of affecting the relations between France and China. The wish of the local councillors concerning the Dalai Lama was adopted unanimously, "but with a good deal of non-participation in the vote," said the Socialist Mayor Paris Bertrand Delanoe.
His Private Office revealed that the local councillors had received a letter from the Chinese Ambassador dissuading them from according the spiritual head of Buddhists this honorary title, at the risk of "making the situation in Tibet worse."
72 Socialists voted for bestowing the honorary citizenships, and 54 councillors abstained.
Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace, 22.04.2008