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Jan Ruml to speak at international conference on Tibet

Prague, October 18, 2003 – Jan Ruml, Acting Chairman of the Olympic Watch Committee, will welcome the participants of the international Tibet Support Groups conference in Prague in his capacity as Vice-Speaker of the Czech Senate. The opening ceremony hosts His Holiness the Dalai Lama and former Czechoslovak and Czech president Vaclav Havel as its guests of honor and takes place Sunday morning. Olympic Watch is one of the NGOs that participate in the conference.

Later in his speech, Mr. Ruml will note the spiritual contribution of the Tibetan culture and the moral dimension of human rights. On a practical level, he will appreciate the beginning of dialogue between the representatives of the PRC and the Tibetan Central Administration (Tibetan government-in-exile) on broader political and religious autonomy for Tibet, and stress the responsibility that the international community has in reminding the Chinese government of the situation in Tibet and of its international human rights commitments. “The upcoming years bring a unique opportunity for this. China will come under the world’s scrutiny before the Olympic Games,” Jan Ruml will say. “May the message from Prague liberated from communist totalitarianism be that Tibet will also soon be free.”

The full text of the speech (in Czech) will be published through the Olympic Watch website (www.olympicwatch.org) Sunday.

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