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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

Former Czech President Vaclav Havel take put in a Tibet demo in Prague

March 23, 2008

Shared Concern Initiative a project of Forum2000

Former Czech President Vaclav Havel and over 600 people gathered in
front of the Chinese embassy in Prague on 19 March to demonstration
against Chinas brutal crack down on peaceful Tibetan protesters in
Tibet. The demo was organised by Forum2000, a Prague based organisation.

Former Czech President Havel and the founder of the Forum2000 spoke at
the demonstration. He said that he fully supported His Holiness the
Dalai Lamas proposal for independent investigation of the events in
Tibet conducted by a respected international body that would include
journalists.

A statement from His Holiness the Dalai Lama was read at the
demonstration. His Holiness said, I would like to take this opportunity
to express my deep gratitude to my dear friend, Vaclav Havel and members
of the Shared Concern Initiative for their concern over the recent sad
turn of events in Tibet I also thank you for holding a candle light vial
this evening in Prague.

I believe the demonstrations and protest taking place in Tibet are a
spontaneous outburst of public resentment built by years of repression
in defiance of authorities that are oblivious to the sentiments of the
local popular

The Shared Concern Initiative a project of Forum2000 is an open and
informal group of recognized personalities representing various
cultures, historical backgrounds, religions, and traditions.

In a statement issued by the Shared Concern Initiative, said, The
reaction of the Chinese authorities to the Tibetan protests evokes
echoes of the totalitarian practices that many of us remember from the
days before communism in Central and Eastern Europe collapsed in 1989:
harsh censorship of the domestic media, blackouts of reporting by
foreign media from China, refusal of visas to foreign journalists, and
blaming the unrest on the Dalai Lamas conspiratorial clique and other
unspecified dark forces supposedly manipulated from abroad. Indeed, the
language used by some Chinese government representatives and the
official Chinese media is a reminder of the worst of times during the
Stalinist and Maoist eras. But the most dangerous development of this
unfortunate situation is the current attempt to seal off Tibet from the
rest of the world.

The members of Shared concern Initiative include Vclav Havel is a former
President of the Czech Republic, Andr Glucksmann is a French
philosopher, Yohei Sasakawa is a Japanese philanthropist, El Hassan Bin
Talal is President of the Arab Thought Forum and President Emeritus of
the World Conference of Religions for Peace, Frederik Willem de Klerk is
a former President of South Africa, and Karel Schwarzenberg is Foreign
Minister of the Czech Republic.

The Lord Mayor of Prague today issued a statement that he is not
planning to go to the Olympics. Shared Concern Initiative statement
should be published tomorrow.

The Tibetan National Anthem was song. People carried Tibetan national
flag as well as Free Tibet and Save Tibet placards.

The vigil covered by Czech Television and Aktualne Centrum



Shared Concern Initiative Statement

Tibets Peace of the Grave

By Vaclav Havel, Karel Schwarzenberg, et al

Prague - Recent events in Tibet and the provinces that adjoin it are
causes for deep concern almost everywhere. Indeed, the dispersal of a
peaceful protest march organized by Tibetan monks, which led to a wave
of unrest that was brutally suppressed by the Chinese military and
police, has caused indignation all over the democratic world.

The reaction of the Chinese authorities to the Tibetan protests evokes
echoes of the totalitarian practices that many of us remember from the
days before communism in Central and Eastern Europe collapsed in 1989:
harsh censorship of the domestic media, blackouts of reporting by
foreign media from China, refusal of visas to foreign journalists, and
blaming the unrest on the Dalai Lamas conspiratorial clique and other
unspecified dark forces supposedly manipulated from abroad. Indeed, the
language used by some Chinese government representatives and the
official Chinese media is a reminder of the worst of times during the
Stalinist and Maoist eras. But the most dangerous development of this
unfortunate situation is the current attempt to seal off Tibet from the
rest of the world.

Even as we write, it is clear that Chinas rulers are trying to reassure
the world that peace, quiet, and harmony have again prevailed in Tibet.
We all know this kind of peace from what has happened in the past in
Burma, Cuba, Belarus, and a few other countries - it is called the peace
of the graveyard.

Merely urging the Chinese government to exercise the utmost restraint in
dealing with the Tibetan people, as governments around the world are
doing, is far too weak a response. The international community,
beginning with the United Nations and followed by the European Union,
ASEAN, and other international organizations, as well as individual
countries, should use every means possible to step up pressure on the
Chinese government to

- allow foreign media, as well as international fact-finding missions,
into Tibet and adjoining provinces in order to enable objective
investigations of what has been happening;

- release all those who only peacefully exercised their internationally
guaranteed human rights, and guarantee that no one is subjected to
torture and unfair trials;

- enter into a meaningful dialogue with the representatives of the
Tibetan people.

Unless these conditions are fulfilled, the International Olympic
Committee should seriously reconsider whether holding this summers
Olympic Games in a country that includes a peaceful graveyard remains a
good idea.

Vclav Havel is a former President of the Czech Republic, Andr Glucksmann
is a French philosopher, Yohei Sasakawa is a Japanese philanthropist, El
Hassan Bin Talal is President of the Arab Thought Forum and President
Emeritus of the World Conference of Religions for Peace, Frederik Willem
de Klerk is a former President of South Africa, and Karel Schwarzenberg
is Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic.
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