Vice-President Jiří Růžička; Miluše Horská; Vice-President Jan Horník, a host of Czech Republic senators host democratically elected Tibetan President Dr Lobsang Sangay at the Senate, Prague, October 15, 2019. Photo: Sikyong Office

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Prague — The Senators of the Czech Republic have hosted a reception honoring visiting Tibetan President Dr Lobsang Sangay this week at Czech Republic Senate house, on October 15, 2019, and reaffirmed their support for Tibet and solidarity with Tibetan people.

The Senators of the Czech Republic on Tuesday, hosted a reception in honour of Dr Lobsang Sangay, the President of the Central Tibetan Administration formerly known as the Government of Tibet at the Senate house in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, where the Senate Vice President Jiří Růžička presented him a glass lion statue, a symbol of the Czech Republic.

Demonstrating their solidarity with Tibet, the 1st Vice President of the Senate, Jiří Růžička in his opening remarks said, “Who else should understand the Tibetans more than we do”.

He also mentioned that the predicament of the Czech Republic 30 years ago was no different than Tibet’s case now as they too have gone through long decades of oppression and domination by a powerful power east of them.

“With our sympathy for Tibet, we are commemorating the selflessness and fragility of our own freedom, our sense of belonging to those who helped us, but also to those whom we should now help”, said the 1st Vice President of the Senate, Jiří Růžička.

Other senators, including Vice-President Miluše Horská, Vice-President Jan Horník, Senator Přemysl Rabas, who is also Chairman of the Group of Friends of Tibet were present as well, according to the Sikyong Office.

A photo exhibition on Tibet was also amongst the several activities of showcased as part of the event.

The democratically elected Tibetan President is currently on a four-nation tour of Europe, including the Czech Republic, Belgium, Germany, and France during a two-week-long trip starting from October 11, 2019. He will return to Dharamshala on October 23, 2019.

The Czech Republic not only hosts the largest parliamentary support group on the continent but also has the largest support for Tibet at the public level.

China-Tibet: Things you need to know

Authorities dramatically stepped up repression and systematic abuses against Tibetans inside Tibet and have carried out mass arbitrary detention, torture, and mistreatment of some of them in various detention facilities, and increasingly imposed pervasive controls on daily life. Year after year, new regulations particularly targeting Tibetans in Tibet criminalize the even traditional forms of social event and action, including preserving, and promotion of Tibetan religious and cultural heritages which undermines people’s rights to free speech and political participation.

The communist-totalitarian state of China began its invasion of Tibet in 1949, reaching complete occupation of the country in 1959. Since that time, more than 1.2 million people, 20% of the nation's population of six million, have died as a direct result of China's invasion and occupation. In addition, over 99% of Tibet's six thousand religious monasteries, temples, and shrines, have been looted or decimated resulting in the destruction of hundreds of thousands of sacred Buddhist scriptures.

Until 1949, Tibet was an independent Buddhist nation in the Himalayas which had little contact with the rest of the world. It existed as a rich cultural storehouse of the Mahayana and Vajrayana teachings of Buddhism. Religion was a unifying theme among the Tibetans -- as was their own language, literature, art, and world view developed by living at high altitudes, under harsh conditions, in a balance with their environment.