Prague, March 10 (CTK) – More than 740 Czech towns, regions and town districts, and over 100 schools will display flags in support of Tibet yesterday in the annual commemoration of the anniversary of the anti-Chinese uprising in Tibet in 1959 that claimed the lives of 80,000 inhabitants at least.
In Prague, a commemorative meeting will be held outside the Chinese embassy, but the Prague City Hall will not join the flag-hoisting campaign, like last year.
The City of Prague is going to strike a partnership deal with Beijing.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is to visit Prague later this month. The Czech Republic is the only EU country he will visit on his way to the USA.
The lawmakers for the right-wing opposition TOP 09 have hung the Tibetan and the Taiwanese flags from the widow of their office in the Chamber of Deputies in Prague.
“In protest against the servile text of Prague’s agreement with Beijing, we have displayed the flag of the Republic of China (Taiwan) next to the Tibetan one,” TOP 09 chairman Miroslav Kalousek said.
In the cooperation agreement the City Assembly approved last week, Prague recognised the One-China policy and Taiwan as an inseparable part of China.
In reaction to TOP 09, Chamber of Deputies chairman Jan Hamacek (Social Democrats, CSSD) said every lawmaker has the right to act on their own within their mandate as deputies.
“This is also how I comprehend the [TOP 09’s] initiative,” Hamacek told CTK.
Unlike the Prague City, most Prague district halls will display Tibetan flags.
Some Czech towns will put up Tibetan flags for the first time this year, the organisers from the Lungta group have said, naming Kladruby nad Labem, east Bohemia, Kravare and Hermanice u Oder, both north Moravia, as examples.
On the other hand, several towns have decided not to fly the flag this time, though they did so repeatedly in the past years. These towns include regional centres Ceske Budejovice (south Bohemia), Karlovy Vary (west Bohemia) and Zlin (south Moravia), and towns such as Jablonec nad Nisou and Zatec (both north Bohemia).
Tibetan flags will also be flown by 113 Czech schools.
The National Gallery will join the campaign by hoisting the flags at several of its buildings in the historical centre of Prague.
The meeting in front of the Chinese embassy will start at 17:00 with a Tibetan singing bowls performance, including the Tibetan anthem. People will be invited to sign a petition in support of human rights and make swallows of paper that would be delivered to the seat of the Tibetan exiled government in Dharamsala, India.
Further pro-Tibet events will be held in 30 places across the Czech Republic through the end of March.
Demonstrations in support of and against China will be held in Prague at the end of March in connection with Xi Jinping’s visit.