Dalai Lama to visit Czech Republic for the sixth time
CTK Czech News Agency[Wednesday, September 20, 2006 18:38]
Prague, September 19 - Nobel Peace Prize laureate the Dalai Lama will visit the Czech Republic for the sixth time in October to attend the international Forum 2000 conference, which will take place October 8-10 under the auspices of former President Vaclav Havel.

Apart from his participation in the conference, Dalai Lama is expected to give a public lecture at the Prague Sparta basketball stadium on October 11, organisers said.

The programme will start with the screening of a film about Tibet, after which the Dalai Lama will deliver a lecture on "The path of the open mind."

He will speak in English and his speech will be translated in Czech.

The Dalai Lama first visited Prague in 1990. He returned in 1997, 2000 and 2002. He last visited the Czech Republic three years ago. His friendship with Havel was the main reason of his many visits.

The Dalai Lama's visits provoked controversial reactions both in the Czech Republic and abroad. Along with the expressions of solidarity with Tibet and appeals to China to observe human rights, voices have been raised that the accommodating stance on the Dalai Lama could harm the Czech Republic's trade relations with China.

The 10th Forum 2000 conference will discuss the global mosaic of heterogenous cultures, ideologies and religions and will be attended by about 40 renowned world personalities.

Apart from the Dalai Lama, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiessel, Belarussian opposition leader Alyaksandar Milinkevich, American scholar Samuel Huntington, Latvian President Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Jordanian Prince Hassan bin Al Talal and former Irish President Mary Robinson are also expected.

The conference will also mark Havel's 70th birthday. According to last year's assessment by the British journal Prospect and the American Foreign Policy magazine, Havel is considered the fourth most influential intellectual in the world.

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