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Chinese delegation leaves Czech parliament over Tibet flag

September 28, 2008

PRAGUE, Thursday, September 25, 2008 (AFP) - A Chinese parliamentary
delegation walked out of the Czech parliament's lower chamber Thursday
after deputies from the Green party unfurled a Tibetan flag, local media
reported.

The Chinese delegation from the Chinese parliament's ethnic affairs
committee travelled to Prague to meet members of the Czech lower
chamber's petitions committee, according to CTK news agency.

"We committed ourselves to point out during the meetings with the
Chinese representatives the issue of human rights and the challenge of
Tibet," Green party deputy Katerina Jacques told reporters.

The left-wing opposition criticized the action by the Green party, which
is part of the governing coalition.

"I condemn this provocative and infantile act," said Communist deputy
Pavel Kovacik.

Before the Beijing Olympics in August, China expressed concern over
Czech Prime Minster Mirek Topolanek's decision to wear a badge with the
colors of Tibet when he announced he would attend the Games but skip the
opening ceremony.

China's 57-year rule of Tibet came under the spotlight this year and had
been particularly sensitive for the Chinese government in the lead-up to
the Olympics.

Pro-Tibetan groups argue that China runs a brutal regime in the region
and has suppressed Tibetan culture.

China sent troops into Tibet in 1950 and officially "liberated" it the
following year. Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, fled into
exile in India in 1959 following a failed uprising against Chinese rule.
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