DHARAMSHALA: The Central Tibetan Administration has expressed great sadness over the passing away of President Václav Havel, a dear and steadfast friend of the Tibetan people.
In a condolence letter sent to the late president’s wife Mrs Dagmar Havlova, today, the Kashag said: “It is with great sadness the Kashag of the Central Tibetan Administration has learned of the passing away of President Václav Havel on 18 December 2011. Please accept the deepest condolence of the Kashag and the Tibetan people in this time of sadness. The Tibetan people have lost a dear and steadfast friend.”
“President Václav Havel’s gesture of inviting His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the Czech Republic as a visiting head of the state soon after he became the president of young republic in 1990 is still remembered by the Tibetan people. We had the privilege and the honour of inviting him as the chief guest during the Fourth International Tibet Support Groups’ Conference in Prague in 2003. The speech he made then was inspiring.
“As a mark of Tibetan gratitude to President Václav Havel, His Holiness the Dalai Lama presented the Light of Truth Award to him in 2004 for his outstanding contribution to creating greater awareness of the Tibetan people in their struggle for greater freedoms and fundamental human rights.
“Please be assured that the Kashag of the Central Tibetan Administration and the Tibetan people will always have the memory of President Václav Havel in their prayers and hearts,” the Kashag said.