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HH-Dalai-Lama-VelvetDharamshala: The spiritual leader of Tibet His Holiness the Dalai Lama will join a galaxy of world leaders, including fellow Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and Frederik Willem de Klerk, at a human rights forum in Czech Republic next month.

More than 100 global leaders from politics, academia, civil society, media, business and religion will discuss challenges and threats related to democratic transitions. The theme for the 17th annual Forum 2000 conference in Prague is 'Societies in Transition'.

"The aim is to better understand what is needed during the transition from an authoritarian regime to a democracy but also to better understand the things that causes these processes to grind to a halt or lose their way," executive director Jakub Klepal was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.

The annual forum was launched the late Czech Velvet Revolution icon Vaclav Havel and American Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel in 1997.

Former Czech President Havel's concerns over Tibet led to close relations with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In 2004, His Holiness the Dalai Lama awarded the Light of Truth award to Mr Havel for his outstanding contribution to public understanding of Tibet and its current plight.

His Holiness visited Prague a week before Mr Havel's death in December 2011 and spent time with him. His Holiness described Mr Havel as a "great statesman whose steadfast and unflinching determination played a key role in bringing freedom and democracy to the then Czechoslovakia."

Havel on many occasions strongly raised his voice over Human Rights violations in Tibet and expressed his support for Tibetan struggle and His Holiness the Dalai Lama's Middle-way approach to solve the issue of Tibet.

Former President Havel was a puckish, absurdist playwright turned political activist, spent four and a half years in prison for opposing Czechslovakia's Communist government before emerging as a leader of the Velvet Revolution that swept it aside in 1989.

His Holiness first visited Prague at the official invitation of President Havel soon after the Velvet Revolution in January 1990. President Havel became the first President after the communist rule. This will be His Holiness the Dalai Lama's 10th visit to the Czech Republic.

Apart from attending the Czech forum, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will give a public talk on 'Compassion and Respect in Today's Society' and teaching on 'Eight Verses of Training the Mind by Geshe Langri Thangpa' on 14 and 15 September respectively. According to the organisers, the talk will be broadcasted on the Forum website.

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