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Dalai Lama, Suu Kyi to meet in Czech Republic

india Updated: Aug 28, 2013 20:18 IST
Naresh K Thakur

The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, and Burmese democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi will be seen together at a human rights forum in Prague, Czech Republic, next month.

"The Dalai Lama and Suu Kyi are attending a human rights forum in the Czech Republic from September 15 to 17," said an official at the spiritual leader's private office.

"This will be the second time the two leaders meet. The two Nobel Laureates met for the first time in London at Suu Kyi's 67th birthday in 2012," he added.

The annual forum 2000 was launched by late Czech president Vaclav Havel and American Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel in 1997. The theme for the 17th annual forum 2000 conference is 'Societies in Transition'.

More than 100 global leaders from politics, academia, civil society, media, business and religion will discuss challenges and threats related to democratic transitions.

"This will be the second time the two leaders meet. The Dalai Lama met Suu Kyi in Britain for the first time on her 67th birthday in June last year in London," said the official.

Former Czech President Havel's concerns over Tibet led to close relations with the Dalai Lama. In 2004, the Dalai Lama had also awarded the Light of Truth award to Havel for his outstanding contribution to public understanding of Tibet and its current plight.

The Dalai Lama had visited Prague a week before Havel's death in December 2011 and spent time with him.

He described Havel as a "great statesman whose steadfast and unflinching determination played a key role in bringing freedom and democracy to the then Czechoslovakia."

Apart from attending the Czech forum, the spiritual leader will give a public talk on "Compassion and Respect in Today's Society" and teaching on "Eight Verses of Training the Mind by Geshe Langri Thangpa" on September 14 and 15, respectively.

Quoting executive director of the forum, Jakub Klepal, a Tibetan official said, "The aim is to better understand what is needed during the transition from an authoritarian regime to a democracy but also to better understand the things that cause these processes to grind to a halt or lose their way."