PRAGUE, Czech Republic: The meeting of two old friends, a spiritual leader and a playwright took place today in Prague on the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights day. His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited his old friend former President Václav Havel at his office. Just a few hours earlier, His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrived in Prague on a three day visit.
President Havel who hadn’t been keeping well looked fragile but determine to keep his appointment with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He had traveled from his country retreat to Prague. The meeting between the two personal friends lasted over an hour.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that he was indeed very happy and greatly honoured to see President Havel again. His Holiness expressed his deep appreciation for President Havel’s firm stand and principles on democracy and human rights including on Tibet.
“You have become a source of inspiration,” said His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan spiritual leader asked President Havel that he must live another 10 years.
President Havel thanked His Holiness the Dalai Lama for his kind words. He said that he had been following the changes in the Tibetan political leadership and it was done at the right moment.
In response, His Holiness said that this change was done voluntarily. Not out of pressure but with pride and happiness.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama devolved his political authority to the newly elected Tibetan leadership.
The new Tibetan political leader Dr. Lobsang Sangay took his oath of office on 8 August 2011.
Speaking about the situation in Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said that the Tibetans inside Tibet even among the young people, the spirit of Tibet was very strong.
Tomorrow His Holiness the Dalai Lama will address “Democracy and Human Rights in Asia: One Year After an Empty Chair in Oslo” round table conference in Prague.
The conference will commemorate the first anniversary of Nobel Peace Prize to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. The conference will focus on the current state of democracy and human rights in Asia.
The Former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, Nobel Laureate Dr. Shirin Ebadi, Mr. Stéphane Hessel, Co-drafter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Dr. Jianli Yang Dissident, President and Founder, Initiatives for China based in Boston, USA will also address the conference.
The conference is organised by Forum2000 and will be held at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague. The Forum2000 also organised Peace, Democracy and Human Rights in Asia conference in September 2009.
On Sunday afternoon, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will give a public talk on “Searching for Happiness in a Troubled World”. The talk will be held at the Prague Congress Centre and the tickets were sold out in one day.
The round table conference and the public talk will be broadcasted live on http://www.forum2000.cz/en/web-tv/
His Holiness the Dalai Lama first visited Prague at the official invitation of President Havel soon after the Velvet Revolution in January 1990. President Havel became the first President after the communist rule. This will be His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s 9th visit to the Czech Republic.