(TibetanReview.net, Mar31’16) – As Chinese President Xi Jinping continued his visit to the Czech capital Prague on the second day on Mar 29, there have been reports of further protests both by political leaders and civil society groups over China’s repressive policies in occupied Tibet. In particular, the lawmakers belonging to the Czech conservative opposition party TOP 09 put up two Tibetan flags from the windows of the Chamber of Deputies. Besides, there were rallies by hundreds of people, many of them carrying Tibetan national flags, reported dw.com/en Mar 29.
As Czech leaders and President Xi signed a strategic partnership deal in the Prague Castle, with the latter promising to bring this year alone an investment of 3.5 billion euros to the country, around 500 protesters rallied in central Prague, waving Tibetan flags and chanting “Freedom for Tibet” along with anti-Zeman slogans, the report said, referring to Czech President Milos Zeman.
It is right to demonstrate against the dictator who allows mass executions and who has introduced the cult of his personality and strict censorship, ceskenoviny.cz Mar 29 quoted former TOP 09 leader and foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg as telling journalists.
The report said riot police separated the protesters from dozens of Chinese supporters with giant Chinese flags before the protesters marched through the city for another protest rally near the Prague Castle.
TOP 09 chairman Miroslav Kalousek was among those at the front of the crowd of people waving Tibetan and Taiwanese flags and carrying pictures of former Czech president Václav Havel with the Dalia Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet, reported praguepost.com Mar 29.
When police stopped the crowd from getting to the Prague Palace square, Kalousek took a Tibetan flag from one of the rally goers and tried to get past the police line with it, but was not successful, the report said. It added that the opposition party chairman was not even allowed to go near the Castle on his own to wave the flag. Member of European Parliament Jaromír Štětina (TOP 09) also could not get through.
Former environment minister Martin Bursík, former human rights minister Michael Kocáb and former foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg were also reported to be among those leading the protest march.
The protesters later moved to Park Maxe van der Stoela in Prague 6, where Bursík and Kocáb were finally able to address the crowd with amplification. They called for the Czech Republic not to weaken its strong human rights record, the report said. Other speakers were reported to include National Gallery director Jiří Fajt, Prague 6 Mayor Ondřej Kolář (TOP 09), and Ivan Havel and his wife, Dagmar, the brother and sister-in-law of late former president Václav Havel.
A mass for the victims of the Chinese communist regime was scheduled in a Catholic church in Prague later in the evening.