Montreal, April 15, 2004: Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin will attend an interfaith event organized on the occasion of His Holiness the Dalai Lama's visit to Ottawa next week. The event will be hosted by His Excellency Marcel Gervais, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Ottawa.
The interfaith event - a private meeting of community and religious leaders - will take place on Friday, April 23 at 17:00 at the Ottawa residence of Archbishop Gervais, 143 St. Patrick Street.
This afternoon, Canadian Tibetans and their supporters welcomed the announcement, hailing it as an historic decision by the Government of Canada.
"I extend my thanks to all Canadians from across this country, who have consistently supported our efforts on behalf of the Tibetan people" said Thubten Samdup, National President of the Canada Tibet Committee. "I would also like to express my heartfelt appreciation to Prime Minister Martin for making this important and significant decision".
The Canada Tibet Committee is seeking active Canadian involvement in the fledgling dialogue between Chinese authorities and representatives of the Dalai Lama. During his visit to Ottawa, the Dalai Lama will meet with parliamentarians, non-governmental organizations and academics to discuss what role Canadian civil society and government could play in his efforts to protect human rights and democratic freedoms in Tibet.
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