Paris Awards Dalai Lama Honorary Citizenship

Despite Chinese protests, Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe conferred the city's honorary citizenship on the Dalai Lama on Sunday.

Paris Mayor has honored the exiled Tibetan leader with a ceremony in Paris' gilded City Hall. Paris' city council voted last year to give the Dalai Lama honorary citizenship.
The Dalai Lama said "I receive this distinction as a human being to defend human values, peace and non-violence."

Last month, China's Foreign Ministry warned that any such move could spark a renewal of angry anti-French sentiment in China.

President Nicolas Sarkozy then met the Dalai Lama in December during France’s presidency of the European Union, angering China so much it pulled out of a summit with the EU and its prime minister later avoided France during a tour of Europe.

Sarkozy has distanced himself from the initiative of Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoe and the Dalai Lama has no meetings planned with the president or government ministers.
Also on Sunday, the Dalai Lama held a lecture in Paris before some 8,000 people on the topic Ethics and Society.

Ahead of his Paris award, the Polish capital Warsaw had also named the Dalai Lama an honorary citizen on May 28, after an unanimous vote by city councillors.

Some information for this report provided by AP , Reuters, and AFP.