Lerab Ling Temple, France, 22 August 2008 (By Estele Shirbon, Reuters) - The Dalai Lama inaugurated a Buddhist temple in southern France on Friday with French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy among the guests.
The ceremony at the Lerab Ling temple, set in remote green hills in the Herault area and built according to traditional Tibetan design, came at the end of a visit to France during which the Dalai Lama repeatedly criticised Olympics host China.
It was raining heavily on Friday but that did not stop hundreds of students of Buddhism from coming to the site, which was decorated with multi-coloured Tibetan prayer flags. They sheltered under orange umbrellas on the grass.
The Dalai Lama's two-week visit to France was mostly focused on lectures about Buddhism, but he also seized the opportunity to express fears and grievances about Chinese policies in Tibet.