Paris, for most humans, is the city of eternal love and peace whose flame of liberty shines throughout the world. However, over the past few days the city of love was rather loveless when it came to progress of the Olympic torch through its streets. Lovers may have been holding hands, but protestors were holding signs condemning China for its brutal repression of the Tibetan people and its arrest of dissidents who dared to utter words of freedom. The Olympic relay in Paris matched what happened the day before in London where angry groups continually halted progress of the torch amidst confusion and anger. Once the torch reached France the situation became even more chaotic when groups twice forced the flame to be extinguished.
Chinese spokespeople insisted all was wonderul in the city of love, but the media presented a rather different version of reality than what is being shown in China. Millions of people throughout the world are furious at actions of the Chinese government to make what should be a moment of peace and tranquility into days of anger and frustration. At one point over the weekend, Rama Yade, speaking for President Sarkozy hinted he might boycott opening day ceremonies of the Olympics and then she back tracked and said no such plan was in effect.
It is time for China to behave as the great nation it has become and allow those who dissident to speak honestly without fear of punishment. It is time to sit down with the Dalai Lama and discuss a peaceful future for Tibet. In taking such actions, China will have a flame of peace which never will be extinguished.