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Friendship with China is Essential, But not Just For Economy: Dalai Lama
Phayul[Tuesday, December 02, 2008 11:42]
Former president Havel welcomes His Holiness
Former president Havel welcomes His Holiness
Dharamsala, Dec. 2– Tibet is facing a death sentence, said His Holiness the
Dalai Lama yesterday in Prague, Czech Republic. His Holiness said that his faith towards the Chinese government is becoming thinner and thinner but that his faith in the Chinese people remain unshaken.

"I'm always telling my friends that a good, close relationship with a huge country like China is very essential, but not only for the economy," His Holiness said during a meeting with the press on the third day of his visit to Prague. "But in the meantime, there are principles, like freedom of expression, human rights, democracy... for which you have to stand firm. Genuine friendship leaves a space to be firm, and at the end the other does appreciate (that)," he added.

"If you act like a 'Yes minister,' whatever the other is doing, even something (is) wrong, then the other thinks it is OK," he said, stressing it was "important to point at others' mistakes.”

His Holiness Dalai Lama and Czech PM Topolánek in Kramářova vila (official residence of Czech Prime Ministers). Nov.30, 2008
His Holiness Dalai Lama and Czech PM Topolánek in Kramářova vila (official residence of Czech Prime Ministers). Nov.30, 2008
On Sunday, His Holiness met with Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek. The Prime Minister’s office released a statement and a photo of the two leaders. In the afternoon, His Holiness visited the Czech Parliament at the invitation of the Tibet Group in the Parliament which consisted of Ministers for Defense, Human Rights, Environment and Culture.

In his address, His Holiness the Dalai Lama thanked the members of the Czech Parliament for supporting the Tibetan people. His Holiness said he believed the people, the governments and parliaments that supported the Tibetan cause were not pro Tibet but pro justice.

Then His Holiness met former President Vaclav Havel at his office in central Prague. The two leaders had a private meeting for about 30 minute before addressing the media.

Asked about his memories of his first meeting in February 1990 with President Havel, His Holiness said they immediately established a friendship and Havel's concern, support and solidarity for Tibet had never changed. His Holiness' also said that President Havel is a symbol of freedom.

With inputs from office of Tibet, Geneva
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