Sarkozy wants to honour Taslima in France

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New Delhi, Jan 24 (UNI) After India's refusal to a move to honour Taslima Nasreen here, the French Government today asked New Delhi to facilitate the controversial Bangladeshi author's journey to France so that 'Prix Simone de Beauvoir' award be given to her officially.

In a statement here, the French Embassy said: ''The President of the French Republic, Mr Nicolas Sarkozy, has asked that Ms Taslima Nasreen be invited to France so that the prize, 'Prix Simone de Beauvoir', which has been awarded to her, may be given to her officially.

''France is grateful to the Indian authorities for all measures that they may kindly take to facilitate Ms Nasreen's journey to France,'' the statement said.

India had poured cold water on the move by the French government to present the prestigiousaward to Taslima during Mr Sarkozy's two-day State visit beginning here tomorrow.

Wary of repercussions, the Ministry of External Affairs had cited the recent violence here over her writings as the reason for disfavouring such an honour.

A few months ago, widespread violence was witnessed in West Bengal after some radical Islamists demanded that she be thrown out of the country for hurting the sentiments of Muslims through her writings.

The Government said that she was free to travel outside the country to receive the award given to her for her writings on women's rights.

The award is to be given on French author Beauvoir's 100th birth anniversary.


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