Former Czech President Václav Havel with His Holiness the Dalai Lama (file photo)
Dharamsala, Nov. 29 - His Holiness the Dalai Lama will visit Prague, the capital of Czech Republic at the invitation of former President Václav Havel and Forum2000 from 29 November to 1 December 2008, Geneva Office of Tibet said in a press release.
Besides meeting former President Václav Havel, His Holiness will address the Tibet Group in the Czech Parliament on Monday. His Holiness will give a public talk “Compassion: The Basis of Happiness” tomorrow.
Italian fencer Margherita Granbassi, who won a medal in Beijing Olympics, will present her fencing mask to His Holiness the Dalai Lama. "I hope the same mask that protected me in Beijing will help him protect his people," said Granbassi.
This is the first visit to Europe by His Holiness the Dalai Lama after the Beijing Olympics. After Prague, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will travel to Brussels where he will address the European Parliament. He will also visit Poland where he will attend a ceremony to mark 25 years of conferment of Nobel peace prize to former Polish president and anti-communist Solidarity leader Lech Walesa.
Former President Havel was the first head of state to extend an official invitation to His Holiness the Dalai Lama after becoming the first democratically elected President of Czechoslovakia after the fall of Communism in November 1989. In February 1990, His Holiness the Dalai Lama visited Czechoslovakia.
This is the seventh visit by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Czech Republic.