Prague, Oct 25 (CTK) – The Association of Czech Professional Theatres and the Actors’ Association yesterday sharply criticised the recent official statement on Czech relations with China, signed by President Milos Zeman and PM Bohuslav Sobotka, and Zeman’s decision not to award a Holocaust survivor.
The supreme constitutional officials failed when they succumbed to the diplomatic pressure from China and they offended all freedom-loving citizens, the actors said in their written statement entitled We Cannot Stay Silent.
After Culture Minister Daniel Herman (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) met the Tibetan Dalai Lama a week ago, Zeman, Sobotka, Senate chairman Milan Stech and Chamber of Deputies chairman Jan Hamacek (all three Social Democrats, CSSD) issued an official statement saying the Czech policy towards China has remained unchanged and distanced themselves from the meeting.
Herman then said Zeman had called on him not to meet the Dalai Lama and told him that his relative Jiri Brady, an 88-year-old Holocaust survivor, would receive a state decoration on October 28 only if the meeting did not take place. The Presidential Office dismisses this and says Brady was nominated but simply did get on the final list od decorated personalities, which is common. Brady says Zeman’s office recently told him that he would be decorated.
The associations of actors labelled Zeman’s decision not to award the Holocaust survivor “a vengeful depravity.”
“The president of the country is a man of the past and he can offer nothing positive to our society anymore,” they say in the statement.
They consider the official statement on Czech-Chinese relations a cowardly pledge of loyalty issued due to China’s pressure, an exchange of sovereignty for trade advantages.
As the top politicians failed in their task of defending Czech citizens against pressure from a foreign power, they cannot be expected to control the country well in hard times.
“We are no colony of China. Neither hostages of irresponsible cowards,” the actors say.
In 1989, actors were one of the main groups that started the protest against a violent police intervention to suppress a calm student demonstration in Prague, which resulted in the fall of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia.