Prague City Hall will fly the Tibetan flag

New Mayor Zdeněk Hřib will also meet with a Tibetan leader

Prague City Hall has changed its attitude toward Tibet. After a gap of four years, the city will again fly the Tibetan flag as part of an international human rights campaign. The flag will be flown from the City Hall building and Škoda Palace from March 8 to 11.

Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) also announced he will meet with a Tibetan leader.

“I will meet Lobsang Sangay, chairman of the Tibetan government in exile. Debates on human rights should not be something that Czech politicians distance themselves from.

Especially with regard to our own history,” Hřib announced on Twitter. The meeting will take place on March 6. Lobsang Sangay is coming to Prague at the invitation of the One World Documentary Film Festival.

Czech Culture Minister Daniel Herman (KDU-ČSL) is also expected to meet with Lobsang Sangay.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomáš Petříček (ČSSD) said he would not meet the exiled leader, adding that Lobsang Sangay was here in a private capacity.

Lobsang Sangay became the senior leader of the Tibetan government in exile after the Dalai Lama stepped away from political functions on 2011.

This will be the 11th time the Tibetan flag has flown at City Hall. Then-mayor Pavel Bém (ODS) started the practice on 2004 and it took place until ’08, then from 2010 to ’14. It stopped under the administration of then-mayor Adriana Krnáčová (ANO).

“The previous city leadership favored good political relations with the People's Republic of China and ignored the reality of human rights violations and freedoms because of the desire for economically advantageous relations. The previous leadership’s visions have not yet been fulfilled, including the acquisition of a panda for Prague Zoo,” Hřib said, according to Czech Television.

Krnáčová’s administration in 2016 approved a controversial sister city agreement with Beijing. In January of this year, the City Council authorized Mayor Hřib to negotiate with the Beijing mayor over the removal of a clause where Prague recognizes the One China policy.

March 10 marks the 60th anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising. The failure of the uprising resulted in a crackdown on the Tibetan independence movement, and the flight of the Dalai Lama into exile.

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