Prominent Czech public figures to visit Dalai Lama for 80th birthday congrats

His Holiness the Dalai Lama in his residence in Dharamsala. (Photo courtesy: Shiho Fukada/The New York Times)
His Holiness the Dalai Lama in his residence in Dharamsala. (Photo courtesy: Shiho Fukada/The New York Times)

(, Jul21, 2015) – Prominent Czech public figures in the fields of politics, arts, literature peace, human rights and environmental activism will be joining a delegation of Tibet advocacy groups in the country to call on the Dalai Lama at Dharamshala, India, in early August to greet him for his 80th birthday, reported Jul 20.

The report cited the director of the Vaclav Havel Library Marta Smolikova and former environment minister Martin Bursik as saying it will be a “congratulations from Czech citizens” mission. It added that the mission was prompted by the NGO MOST (Bridge) and joined by the Czechs Support Tibet, the Vaclav Havel Library, FORUM 2000, People in Need, Open Society Fund, o.s. LUNGTA and o.s. POTALA.

Besides, the report added, the campaign was joined by a number of personalities such as Ivan Havel, brother of the late president Vaclav Havel; former presidential candidate Jan Svejnar; former dissident singer Marta Kubisova; literary historian Martin C Putna; film director Olga Sommerova; designer Maxim Velcovsky, and priest Ladislav Heryan.

The congratulations mission will present to the Dalai Lama a tea cup by designer Borek Sipek that will highlight the “firm link between the Czech Republic and Tibet, Vaclav Havel and His Holiness Dalai Lama,” the report said. I added that Vaclav Havel and the Dalai Lama were mirrored in the teacup’s saucer.

The report cited Forum 2000 Foundation chairman Jakub Klepal as saying in a press release that members of the delegation would invite the Dalai Lama to again come to the Forum 2000 conference in 2016. “The close link between the Czech Republic and Tibet must be maintained,” he was quoted as saying.

The Dalai Lama had visited Czechoslovakia at Havel’s invitation for the first time in Feb 1990. It was the first official invitation from a head of state to the Dalai Lama and sparked protests from China. Since then the Dalai Lama has visited Prague nine times, the report noted.


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