Prague, 20 October: “We take inspiration from Prague Spring, Charter 77, Civic Forum and Velvet Revolution,” said Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay at a public talk in Prague yesterday evening.
He said Czech Republic is known as the country that fought against totalitarian and authoritarian regime for moral authority and human rights. The struggle prevailed.
The past 50 years under Communist China’s rule in Tibet has been repressive. However, like the Czech people who remained hopeful and optimistic of their freedom under the Communist rule, we Tibetans are also hopeful and optimistic of our future said the Tibetan political leader.
“In Tibet today, there are more Chinese than Tibetans, more troops than Tibetan monks and more security cameras than Tibetan butter lamps,” he said.
56 Tibetans have self-immolated in Tibet. We don’t want anyone to die like that he said. We have urged Tibetans not to take such drastic actions. The return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom in Tibet has been their main demands, he said.
The reasons the Tibetans have self-immolated are due to the Chinese government’s systematic repression of Tibetan religion, language and culture, and forced resettlement of Tibetan nomads in Tibet.
“We urge foreign delegations to visit Tibet to see the situation on the ground,” he said. Recently the US Ambassador in Beijing visited Ngaba area in Easter Tibet.
President Vaclav Havel was a great friend of Tibet Dr. Sangay said. And spoke about his gratitude to the Czech Foreign Minister Mr. Karel Schwarzenberg who expressed his concern about the situation in Tibet and the self-immolating taking place in Tibet at the UN Human Rights Council session last March in Geneva.
The Tibetan political leader said that the Middle Way approach policy is seeking genuine autonomy for Tibetans and not seeing separation from China. “We are ready for dialogue with China to resolve the Tibetan issue,” he said.
In his conclusion address, he said the spirit of Tibetans in Tibet is very strong. The exiled Community is in complete solidarity with their fellow Tibetans in Tibet.
In the afternoon, Ven. Thubten Wangchen, the European Tibetan Parliamentarian called on Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay. He briefed the Tibetan political leader the Flame of Truth rallies held in over 25 European cities in 19 countries since 2 September. Ven. Wangchen la is travelling with the Flame of Truth across Europe.
The Flame of Truth arrived in Prague on 19 October and tomorrow travels to Budapest, Hungary. On 4 November, the Flame of Truth Europe rally will conclude in Geneva, Switzerland covering over 23 countries.
The Tibetan political leader arrived in Prague yesterday to take part at the 16th Forum2000 conference – Media and Democracy. He will speak at two panel discussions tomorrow and then leave for London. The former secretary of President Havel Mr. Sasha Neuman and representatives of the small Tibetan community received the Tibetan political leader at the Vaclav Havel International Airport in Prague on 19 October afternoon.