(March 10, 2023, Prague) Tibetan flags flew on the buildings of both chambers of the Czech Parliament today. On the anniversary of the suppression of the Tibetan uprising, which falls on 10 March, the Friends of Tibet groups in the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate also issued a statement calling on the Chinese government to stop the forced placement of Tibetan children in Chinese boarding schools.
In addition, MPs from the pro-Tibet group called on Chinese politicians not to interfere in the process of the reincarnation of the next Dalai Lama and to leave the selection of the successor to the current spiritual leader entirely to the Tibetan people and their traditions. Minister Helena Langšádlová and Deputy Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Olga Richterová, among others, added their voices to both statements.
Tibetan flags were flown on the Senate and Chamber of Deputies buildings today. A brief meeting of lawmakers was held at the Chamber of Deputies to express support for the Tibetans’ non-violent efforts to preserve their distinct culture and religion, together with the Speaker of the lower chamber, Marketa Pekarova Adamova.
“For over a year now, we have seen very closely how Russia is trying to rob an independent Ukraine of its freedom and territory. Tibet may be a few thousand kilometres away, but as democrats we naturally support those who are denied their freedom wherever on Earth it happens,” said Přemysl Rabas, chairman of the informal Senate Friends of Tibet group.
Hayato Okamura, who leads a similar group, said on Tibet Day that “it is gratifying that after the Senate, the Chamber of Deputies has clearly returned to the tradition of strong human rights policy started by Václav Havel in the Czech Republic. Since yesterday, the Castle also seems to be in a similar mood on the subject of human rights and religious freedoms. I know from representatives of the Tibetan government-in-exile that our support is a significant encouragement to the Tibetans in their relentless pursuit of their own identity and freedom. They will be able to continue to rely on the Czech Republic for this.”
Hayato Okamura is also one of the speakers at a protest meeting scheduled for 5pm today outside the Chinese Embassy. On Saturday, under the auspices of Senator Přemysl Rabas, the traditional climb to Sněžka with Tibetan flags will take place. The event for the general public will also be attended by some legislators. The Czech parliamentary pro-Tibet initiative is one of the largest in the world in terms of members.