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Pro-Tibet Prague mayor refuses to be cowered by China’s reprisal

Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib. (Photo courtesy: eurofilmfest.cz)

(TibetanReview.net, May01’19) – For welcoming in March this year President Lobsang Sangay of the Central Tibetan Administration, China has sought to punish the Czech capital Prague by cancelling many concerts and cultural events of Prague-based cultural organisations in China, reported europeaninterest.eu Apr 29. But the city’s mayor and his party have hit back rather than tendering an apology that China was looking for.

The report cited the Prague Daily Monitor as reporting that China was incensed because Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib’s had visit Taiwan and met with the Tibetan Prime Minister (sic).

Mr Zdenek Hrib, Mayor of Prague present the symbolic key to President Dr Lobsang Sangay at the Old City Hall on 6 March 2019. (Photo courtesy: Andrea.svob)

The report said the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra was among the victims of Beijing’s decision. Its concerts in China, scheduled in Autumn, was assumed to have been cancelled.

But the Pirate Party to which the mayor belongs is unperturbed. The mayor has suggested that the orchestra now play in Taipei instead.

“Human beings are more important than money. This is pretty much our message to the government. We are not going to stand aside on human rights anywhere in the world. We are supporting the human rights activists and the oppressed ones who are defending their rights both symbolically and actively,” the report quoted Lukáš Lev Červinka, a Pirate Party candidate in the European Parliament elections and a constitutional lawyer specialising in the comparative constitutional law and parliamentarism, as saying in an interview to the European Interest published on Mar 22. He was referring to his national government’s pro-China position.

The Prague mayor and his party’s stand is in sharp contrast to that of the Country’s President Miloš Zeman who is unabashedly pro-China and a strong lobbyist for Beijing’s interests in the European Union.

The report noted that although the Czech Republic was yet to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with China, its political leadership was flirting with the latter’s Belt and Road Initiative.

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