Unfurling of the Tibetan flag as part of the national Flag for Tibet campaign. March 10, 2023, Prague. The event was attended by Senator Marek Hilšer (left), Senator Jiří Růžička (third from left), Member of Parliament Hayato Okamura (fourth from left), Speaker of the Chamber Markéta Pekarová Adamová ((fifth from left) and Member of Parliament Věra Kovářová (third from right).
Prague – The Senate and the House of Representatives have once again joined the campaign that commemorates the violent suppression of the Tibetan uprising by the Chinese regime in 1959, and today they hoisted the Tibetan flag on their buildings. For the chairman of the upper parliamentary chamber, Miloš Vystrčil (ODS), this flag is a symbol of support for all those who want to live in freedom, and according to the chairman of the Senate education committee Jiří Růžička (for TOP 09), in the context of the Russian-Ukrainian war, drawing attention to human rights violations is especially current. In protest against the injustice, the Tibetan government-in-exile and other state and municipal institutions, including the Ministry of Culture and the Prague Municipality, raised the flag.
“Human rights are not an empty concept, we must take a clear stance on the oppression of peoples,” Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda (ODS) said on Twitter. Minister of Culture Martin Baxa (ODS) accompanied the hanging of the Tibetan flag in his office by statingthat the uprising against the Chinese occupation of Tibet broke out 64 years ago, but human rights are immutable.
The Flag for Tibet campaign takes place every year on March 10, when over 80,000 Tibetans died in a national uprising 64 years ago, and by flying the Tibetan flag, it aims to point out human rights violations in the country. In the presence of its chairwoman Markéta Pekarová Adamová (TOP 09), the Chamber of Deputies hoisted the flag today to commemorate the victims of the Tibetan uprising. By decision of the head of the Senate, Vystrčila also waved at the Kolovrat Palace building for the third time.
In this context, the chairman of the Senate Group of Friends of Tibet, Přemysl Rabas (for the Senator 21 movement), also recalled the events in Ukraine, which has been facing a Russian invasion since last February. “For over a year now, we have seen very closely how Russia is trying to rob independent Ukraine of its freedom and territory. Tibet is a few thousand kilometers away, but as democrats we naturally support those who are denied freedom, wherever it happens on Earth.” Senate press secretary Lada Faldynová interpreted Rabas' statement for CTK.
As in previous years, the town halls of Prague 7 and Prague 10 also joined the commemoration of the events in Tibet by hoisting its flag. “Even though Tibet is far from our borders, we should not forget what happened there years ago. Human rights and freedom are the most important thing we have, that's why we should fight for them,” said the mayor of Prague 10, Martin Valovič (Together for Prague 10/ODS).
To point out the fate of the Tibetans, who have been facing the aggression of a more numerous and powerful force for more than half a century neighbor, the Faculty of Arts of Charles University also decided.
The Czech Republic has regularly joined the Flag for Tibet event since 1996, when the first four Czech cities hoisted the Tibetan flag. Last year, on the anniversary of the Tibetan uprising, according to information on the website of the organizing Lungta Association, the flag flew in more than 850 municipalities, cities, districts or counties.
Tibet was occupied by the Chinese army in 1950. Beijing insists that it is historically an integral part of Chinese territory. He claims that his rule has brought prosperity and stability to the area. The Chinese communist regime rejects accusations of repression and human rights violations by Tibetan exiles and human rights defenders.
Dozens of town halls have hoisted the Tibetan flag in the Hradec Kralove region
In the Hradec Králové region, dozens of cities, municipalities and other institutions joined the Flag for Tibet campaign today. The representatives of the Hradec Králové region and Hradec Králové also hung the Tibetan flag in the morning. Last year in the regional capital, the approval of the hanging of the flag in the city council did not pass, and the council had to decide. In February of this year, the city council voted unanimously to hang the flag.
In the entire Hradec Králové region, 77 municipalities and cities signed up for the Flag for Tibet campaign this year. The city of Vamberk and the municipalities of Bystré and Libňatov joined this year. On the contrary, seven municipalities did not join last year, it follows from the datathe Lungta association, which tries to inform the Czech public about the situation in Tibet, about Tibetan culture and Buddhism. About 15 schools in the region also supported the campaign.
In 1996, Hradec Králové was one of the first cities in the Czech Republic to join the campaign. Later in the late 1990s and early 21st century, the city hall did not officially fly the flag. In recent years, the Tibetan flag has flown regularly in front of the municipality. This year she called for the nineteenth time.
“In occupied Tibet, basic human rights have been violated for decades, freedom of speech and freedom of political or religious belief are suppressed, the right to education is denied. We must not remain blind to the violation of human rights and the oppression of people,” said the mayor of Hradec Králové Pavlína Springerová (Hradecý Demokratický club).
On Saturday, the Tibetan flag will also fly on Sněžka in the Giant Mountains. The outing is organized by the senator and chairman of the senate of the Group of Friends of Tibet Přemysl Rabas (for the Senator 21 movement), the Veselý vylet information center and the organization Czechs Support Tibet. The meeting of the participants is at 12:00 at the Veselý vylet information center in Pec pod Sněžkou. This will be followed by a trip by cable car to the Růžová hora intermediate station and then a march to the top.
The Flag for Tibet campaign was created in the mid-1990s in Western Europe with the aim of pointing out the long-term violations of human rights in Tibet. The hoisting of the Tibetan flag commemorates the suppression of the anti-Chinese uprising in the Tibetan capital Lhasa in 1959, after which the highest representative of Tibet, the 14th Dalai Lama, went into exile.
The Liberec region and a quarter of its cities and towns hoisted the flag for Tibet today< /h3>
The Liberec region and a quarter of its towns and villages hoisted the flag for Tibet today. The number of people joining the campaign to support Tibetans in their struggle for independence has decreased in the region compared to last year. After four years, the flag was not hoisted, for example, in Jablonec nad Nisou, the proposal did not receive sufficient support in the local council. After a two-year break, however, it was posted in Česká Lípa or Jindřichovice pod Smrkem, for example, ČTK found out today.
The international Flag for Tibet project is organized by the Lungta civic association. The event is always held on March 10, the anniversary of the Tibetan uprising against Chinese occupation. The Tibetan flag flew on the building of the regional office for the first time in 2003 under the first governor Pavel Pavlík (ODS) and then in 2004, a year later it was also hoisted by the second governor Petr Skokan (ODS). After that, the Liberec Region did not fly the flag anymore, it only rejoined the project when the Mayors for the Liberec Region took over the leadership of the region.
For the first time, the flag flew over the county seat again in 2013, and since then it has been flown annually. “The fate of a small country oppressed by a much larger neighbor is currently more relevant than ever before. I firmly believe that Tibet will succeed in freeing itself from Chinese tyranny, and in the same way, one day, Ukraine will be able to repel Russia's barbaric attack,” he said at today's flag-raising ceremony at the office terrace of Liberec governor Martin Půta (Mayors for the Liberec region). The coalition agreed to post it throughout the election period.
Since 2003, they have also been flying the flag in Nové Bor in Českolipsk. “The expression of disapproval of the suppression of national freedom is particularly relevant today in view of the ongoing war in Ukraine. One cannot help but see the parallels between the bloody suppression of the Tibetan uprising against the Chinese occupation in 1959, the present day, when the post-Soviet power claims the freedom and land of its neighbor, but also the historic annexation of Czechoslovakia by Hitler's Germany in 1939. Rejection of aggression and lawlessness should be a matter of course in the civilized world,” said Mayor Jaromír Dvořák (Mayors for the Liberec Region).
The Flag for Tibet event commemorates the 80,000 victims of the suppressed uprising in the Tibetan administrative center of Lhasa in 1959. The Czech Republic joined the world event in support of Tibet for the first time in 1996, when the first four town halls hoisted the flag. Last year, 853 municipalities, cities, city districts or regions participated in the project, schools or residents of the Czech Republic also raised flags. According to the Lungta association, 865 cities and towns and all regions except South Bohemia and Olomouc signed up for the project this year. Flags were also hoisted at 119 schools across the country, in the Liberec region, for example, at gymnasiums in Tanvald, Mimon or Semile.
Part of the town halls in South Moravia hoisted the Tibetan flag in support of Tibet
Today, the Tibetan flag flies in the town halls of most district towns in the South Moravian Region, with the exception of Břeclav, as a reminder of 64 years since the anti-Chinese uprising in Tibet. The flag is also at the regional office. Its spokeswoman Alena Knotková told ČTK that the region has been flying the flag since 2001, but it always depends on the specific political representation. It is also similar, for example, in Vyškov or Znojmo.
The flag has been flying in Vyškov since the 1990s. “However, it is always about the composition of the council. By hoisting the flag, the city council expresses its position against any similar regimes,” said Michal Kočí, the spokesperson of the Vyško town hall.
Brno has been flying the flag since 2007. “The novelty is that the Tibetan flag will be flown annually by the decision of the Brno City Council, and the organizers will therefore not have to apply to the city every year,” said Filip Poňuchálek, a spokesman for the municipality. The Brno-střed town hall also joined. “We were approached by the Lungta Association with a request to join the international Flag for Tibet campaign. The municipal council approved this request, i.e. agreed to display the Tibetan flag on the town hall building on the day commemorating the anniversary of the Tibetan uprising against the Chinese occupation, for the entire election period 2022-2026,” said the spokeswoman of the town hall, Kateřina Dobešová.
The flag also flies in Hodonín or Blansko, where, according to spokeswoman Pavla Komárková, it is displayed as a symbol of support for the fight for human rights. The Tibetan flag can also be seen in Znojmo. “We take the protection of human rights very seriously. We understand the display of the Tibetan flag as a warning and a symbol that human rights are still being violated today,” said Deputy Mayor Petra Svedíková Vávrová (SPD).
Břeclav did not display the flag . “There is no agreement on the display. We do not display any flags. The exception was the Ukrainian flag last year as a symbol of support for the occupied country,” said city spokeswoman Ivana Solaríková.