October 12, 2017
Prague: A Photo Exhibition detailing the life and legacies of His Holiness the Dalai Lama was unveiled at Vaclav Havel Square in Prague, Czech Republic from October 9 to 12, 2017. Through photographs and textual descriptions, the exhibition elucidated the contributions and achievements of His Holiness the Dalai Lama towards world peace, inter-religious harmony and the Tibet cause.
The exhibition showcased at the Festival of Democracy was organised by the Tibet Museum of the Department of Information and International Relations, Central Tibetan Administration in collaboration with Forum 2000, Linhart Foundation, Tibet Open House, National Gallery and Vaclav Havel Library. The Festival of Democracy is the associated program of the Forum 2000 Conference.
In his speech at the opening of the exhibition, Mr Tashi Phuntsok, the director of the Tibet Museum said, “We Tibetan people have special relations with the people of Czech Republic. Your country has suffered under the totalitarian communist regime for 40 years and we Tibetans are still suffering under the repressive and totalitarian regime of the People’s Republic of China since 1959.”
Mr. Phuntsok also spoke about the special bond that His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Vaclav Havel, the late president of Czech Republic shared. He added that, “We Tibetans shall always be grateful to former President Vaclav Havel and people of Czech for inviting His Holiness the Dalai Lama to their country in 1990, the first public figure to be invited to visit the country after independence. And since then, His Holiness has made around 11 visits to the Czech Republic including numerous presences at Forum 2000. With the passing of former President in 2011, we Tibetan have lost a true friend and all weather supporters.”
He also informed the gathering about the contributions and achievements of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in the democratization of exile Tibetan polity, which unlike many of the democracies of the 20th Century, was not imposed by a foreign power or gained through a popular uprising rather it was strongly promoted by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and voluntarily established by the Tibetan people at his insistence.
He further added that, “His Holiness is a true democrat, who has empowered Tibetans with democracy and hope. His Holiness is an environmentalist, who speaks on global warming, climate change and Tibet as the third pole, which is a major source of rivers in Asia. His Holiness is an advocate of equality and justice, who speaks strongly against the growing gap between rich and the poor”.
On October 11, 2017, Mr. Tashi Phuntsok along with Geshe Yeshi Gawa; Director of the Tibet Open House, Jan Mayer; President of Linhart Foundation, were invited by the Vaclav Havel Library to attend an International Conference in Honor of the Laureate of the Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize 2017: What Price Human Rights? Mr. Irwin Cotler; former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Mr. David Eubank; a former major of the US Army Rangers-turned aid worker and Ms. Annie Yang; a former Chinese Political Prisoner and Falung Gong practitioner, were among the many eminent personalities that attended and addressed the conference.
Later, Mr. Phuntsok held series of meeting with Mr. Michael Zantovsky; Executive Director of the Vaclav Havel Library, Dr. Eva Dittertova; Director of the Naprstkovo Museum and Dr. Jiri Fajt; General Director of National Gallery, to discuss about future collaboration and exhibition programme. All the meetings were facilitated by the Tibet Open House and Linhart Foundation.
– Report filed by Tibet Museum –