The Dalai Lama’s visit to Prague last week provided yet more proof that the Czech Republic’s policy towards the People’s Republic of China has substantially shifted.
Gone are the days when the Tibetan spiritual leader received official welcome by former Czech President Václav Havel while in office. This time, the organizers of the Dalai Lama’s visit were banished by the administration of Czech President Miloš Zeman from the vicinity of Prague Castle, where the Dalai Lama had intended to give a speech. Paradoxically, prominent extremist anti-Muslim leader Martin Konvička, who has previously been endorsed by the President, gave a speech at the same spot eight months ago.
The struggle did not stop with the President’s overtly shunning the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan leader still has sympathizers in Prague, as demonstrated by the meeting he held with Deputy Prime Minister for Science, Research and Innovation Pavel Bělobrádek, Minister of Culture Daniel Herman and Minister of the Czech Republic’s Government for Human Rights, Equal Opportunities and Legislation Jiří Dienstbier.
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