(TibetanReview.net, Nov02, 2016) – The opposition Mayors and Independents (STAN) Councilor Jana Plaminkova has on Oct 28 proposed that Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader and the 1989 Nobel Peace laureate, the Dalai Lama, be granted honorary citizenship of the City of Prague, reported Czech news agency CTK. The Councilor has made his demand in a STAN press release the week after the Dalai Lama had visited the country to take part in the annual Forum 2000 conference initiate by Vaclav Havel, the country’s late first president and close friend of the Tibetan leader.
STAN has said an honorary citizenship would appreciate the special relation that the Dalai Lama has to the Czech Republic.
On Oct 18, President Zeman and PM Bohuslav Sobotkaas as well as the heads of both houses of parliament issued a joint statement, distancing the government from Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Belobradek, Culture Minister Daniel Herman, and the deputy speakers of both houses of parliament’s meeting with the Dalai Lama earlier in the day.
The statement reiterated the Czech government’s recognition of Tibet as part of China and continued, “The private activities of some Czech politicians do not signal a change in the Czech Republic’s official policy and we would consider it unfortunate if someone perceived them as such.”
Many Czech politicians and other public figures condemned this statement as servile and humiliating of Czech citizens.
Also, government-run Czech Television (CT) on Oct 29 evening cited a poll by Nielsen Admosphere agency as showing that more than 40 percent of Czechs considered the pro-China statement of the four supreme constitutional officials as extreme.
STAN, an opposition centrist party, has also demanded that the government release what pledges, written or factual, it had negotiated in relation to China, said another CTK report Oct 30. If the Czech-Chinese agreements included a pledge that Czech representatives may meet the Dalai Lama only in private, this is a scandal, regardless of the fact that all Czech government members nodded to it, STAN has said.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek and Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (both social democrats, CSSD) have accused Herman of having broken a promise that he would meet the Dalai Lama only privately, not officially. However, Herman said he never made any such promise, reported CTK.
It said STAN supported the proposal of its Councilor Jana Plaminkova to grant the honorary citizenship of Prague to the Dalai Lama, saying this would partly balance the unprecedented servility in international affairs expressed in the pro-China statement of the four supreme constitutional officials.