The Dalai Lama says he does not mind the fact that the current and most recent Czech presidents, Miloš Zeman and Václav Klaus, have refused to meet him. Speaking on the last day of the Forum 2000 conference in Prague, the Tibetan spiritual leader said that as he did not have an agenda linked to the Czech government, meetings with such important leaders were not so important. Some Czech politicians have in the past expressed the opinion that supporting the Dalai Lama, who was a good friend of the late president Václav Havel, could damage the country’s economic ties with China.
An Italian soldier has died after being injured in an accident at Chynov, south Bohemia, a Czech military spokesperson said. The soldier, who was 36, was a passenger in a car that crashed into a railway viaduct during the Ramstein Rover 2013 international military exercise. The cause of the accident is being investigated.
A man released under an amnesty at the start of the year has been given a 12-year jail term for the murder of a homeless Slovak man in Prague. The court heard how Miloš Svozil stabbed his victim to death after getting in a dispute with him and a group of other homeless people in the city’s Podolí district in February. Some 6,500 prisoners were released under a controversial amnesty announced on New Year’s Day by Václav Klaus, shortly before he stood down as president.
The authorities in Prague have decided to take action against people urinating in public, Novinky.cz reported on Tuesday. Officials have asked members of the city police to draw up a list of spots, such as tram stops, which are particularly badly affected, the news website said. A police spokesperson said that officers, who can fine those over the age of 15 who urinate in public up to CZK 1,000, have to deal with the problem frequently. Special cleaning agents containing chlorine are used in some parts of the downtown area.
Prague’s traditional municipal New Year’s fireworks show will this year be launched from the city’s Letná Park rather than from the previous location on the River Vltava, under a plan approved by councilors on Tuesday. Following a discussion on when exactly the New Year’s Day event should be held, the time of 18:01 won in a public vote. Letting off the fireworks from a pontoon between Střelecký Ostrov island and Charles Bridge have led in the past to traffic disruptions.
Viktoria Plzeň are preparing to host England’s Manchester City on Tuesday night in their opening group game in the Champions League, soccer’s most prestigious club tournament. In view of the visitors’ immense wealth the West Bohemian side go into the match as outsiders. However, they will be hoping to capitalise on the European experience they have acquired in the last two seasons and City’s unconvincing form in the Premier League. The other two teams in Plzeň’s group are title-holders Bayern Munich and CSKA Moscow.
Meanwhile, Plzeň have been knocked off top spot in the Czech first division by Sparta Prague. After the reigning champions drew with Slovan Liberec at the weekend, Sparta went two points ahead with a 2:0 away win over Znojmo on Monday evening thanks to goals from captain David Lafata and Jakub Brabec.
Addressing the Forum 2000 conference currently underway in Prague, Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, said the 20th century had been a century of bloodshed and violence and it was now up to the new generation to strive for a better world and make the 21st century a time of peace. He said young people need to find a broad and long-term vision which would emphasize common interests rather than differences of race or religion. The Dalai Lama stressed that while prayers were important for individuals, what the world needed now was actions.
Speaking at the opening of the Forum 2000 conference on Sunday Burmese
opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyii paid tribute to the late Czech
president Vaclav Havel saying he had refused a 1991 nomination for the
Nobel Peace Prize and proposed her for the honour instead. In her speech,
she voiced thanks for the support the late Mr Havel expressed for the
Burmese opposition at the time of the rule of the military junta in the
country, saying he had maintained in the Burmese opposition a flame of
during its darkest period. Although the two never met in person the late
Czech president and the Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyii were
On Monday Aung San Suu Kyii was also welcomed at Prague Castle by President Miloš Zeman and will later meet with the country’s Foreign Minister Jan Kohout.
The Twelve Tribes Christian sect in Bavaria that is suspected of child abuse may have smuggled a group of children to the Czech Republic to hide them from the police, the German magazine Der Spiegel writes. Forty children were taken from the sect earlier this month following police raids at a monastery and a farm. The magazine claims the sect has another home base in Dolchau, Saxony, of which the authorities were not aware and from which ten children aged 7 to 16 disappeared in recent days, according to neighbours in the vicinity. Der Spiegel says the sect recently bought a farm near Prague where the children may have been smuggled. The Twelve Tribes sect, whose teachings are based on the Old and New Testament, is known to believe in corporal punishment. It had been under observation by authorities for some time, particularly for its refusal to send its children to school.