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"As long as human rights are violated, there can be no foundation for peace. How can peace grow where speaking the truth is itself a crime?"

His Holiness the Dalai Lama Offers His Condolences at the Passing Away of President Václav Havel

December 19, 2011

December 19th 2011

Dharamsala, HP, India, 18 December 2011 - His Holiness the Dalai
Lama expressed his deep sadness at learning of the passing away of
his dear friend President Václav Havel. In a letter to his wife
Mrs. Dagmar Havlova, His Holiness wrote that in his death, the
world has lost a great statesman whose steadfast and unflinching
determination played a key role in bringing freedom and democracy
to the then Czechoslovakia. He was an unassuming and a courageous
leader whom His Holiness personally had the greatest admiration and
respect and will miss him.

His Holiness recalled that he had the privilege of meeting
President Václav Havel in February 1990 – months after he became
President following the Velvet Revolution, which he led with an
extraordinary display of people power. Over the ensuing two decades
he had the opportunity to meet with him regularly, most recently in
Prague on 10 December 2011. His Holiness concluded by offering his
heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Dagmar Havlova and other members of
their family and those who were closely associated with him.

He stated that perhaps the best tribute we could honour and
remember President Václav Havel is to work as best we can towards
building a more peaceful, open and just world.

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