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Czech lawmakers to form parliamentary friends of Tibet

April 16, 2018

Prague Monitor, April 16, 2018- Civic Democrat (ODS) deputy Marek Benda intends to establish an unofficial group of Tibet's friends in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Czech parliament, daily Pravo wrote on Friday.

The group is to stress human rights observance and organise meetings of the Tibetan government-in-exile with Czech lawmakers, Pravo writes.

The effort is to follow up the group led by Greens deputy Katerina Jacques between 2006 and 2010.

"I think that the Czech Republic should maintain the trend that is interested in human rights observance in the world," Benda said.

"Tibetans are poor people, they are culturally oppressed and it is good that someone should pay attention to this without saying that they should be separated from China, while they themselves do not want this," Benda said.

However, the group will not work officially, he added.

"Such groups of friends can only exist with the countries we recognise," Benda said.

"It may be a group of deputies or senators who have a hearty relationship with Tibet and its people," he added.

The group is to cooperate with non-governmental organisations that are active in human rights observance, receive the visits by the Tibetan government-in-exile and react publicly to the information on what is going on in Tibet.

"At first, we must clear it up. Katerina Jacques has most experience with this," Benda said, adding that he would consult her.

Benda has already conducted talks on the participation in the group with some deputies for the Pirates and former foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg, honorary chairman of TOP 09, Pravo writes.

Late Czech president Vaclav Havel (1993-2003) was a friend of the Tibetan Dalai Lama who repeatedly visited the international conference Forum 2000 in Prague Havel founded.

 

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