Prague, Oct 24 (CTK) – President Milos Zeman would solve the issue of awarding the Holocaust survivor, Jiri Brady, if he really presented a state order to him on the national holiday on October 28, Chamber of Deputies chairman Jan Hamacek (Social Democrats, CSSD) said yesterday.
Culture Minister Daniel Herman (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) says Zeman deleted the name of his uncle Brady, 88, from the list of the personalities to be awarded on October 28 because of Herman’s meeting with the Tibetan Dalai Lama last Tuesday.
The awarding of Brady would calm down the situation, Deputy PM and KDU-CSL chairman Pavel Belobradek tweeted yesterday.
However, Brady would not accept the order from Zeman if he wanted to award him eventually, Herman told Czech Television (CT).
Brady said on his arrival in Prague on Sunday that the Presidential Office had announced to him by phone on October 12 that he would be presented with the T.G.Masaryk Order.
However, the list of people to be awarded, which Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (Social Democrats, CSSD) received from the Presidential Office for countersignature one day after Herman’s meeting with the Dalai Lama, did not contain Brady’s name.
“The atmosphere on October 28 would calm down if the president decided to give the T. G. Masaryk Order to Jiri Brady. He deserves it. Promises should be fulfilled,” Belobradek tweeted.
“I would like to support the prime minister who called on the president to solve the situation by bestowing a state order on Brady. No other steps should be taken by then,” Hamacek told CTK yesterday.
Sobotka said on Saturday Zeman should behave as a statesman and award Brady, otherwise this year’s October 28 will be a show of Prague Castle’s narrow-mindedness and Czech disunity.
Hamacek said he hoped Zeman would meet the recommendation. “If he did not, then all other options, including a certain form of recognition by the Chamber of Deputies would be open,” Hamacek added.
The Chamber of Deputies proposed Brady, who left for Canada in 1949 and who has written and lectured on the Holocaust and helped immigrants, for the T. G. Masaryk Order.
Herman says Zeman threatened him with not awarding Brady if he met the Dalai Lama. Zeman criticised Herman’s meeting with the Tibetan spiritual leader, saying it harmed Czech-Chinese relations.
Hamacek also called on the Presidential Office to clarify the circumstances of the award. He said previously if Herman’s words were confirmed, he would be considering not attending the award-giving ceremony at Prague Castle.
Deputy Miroslava Nemcova (opposition Civic Democrats, ODS) called the reasons for deleting Brady from the list of the award laureates contemptible in her press release. She said the Chamber of Deputies should redress “this unfortunate shame.”
“This is why I called on the Chamber of Deputies leadership and all MPs to honour Jiri Brady at a special session. It was us, the MPs, who approved the proposal for bestowing the T. G. Masaryk Order on Jiri Brady”, Nemcova said.
If the lower house does not organise a meeting with Brady, Nemcova proposes that at least the deputies with a similar opinion as she should meet him.
“He must know that his native country respects him,” she said.
Hamacek called her proposal premature.