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Dalai Lama Deeply Saddened over Havels Death

FILE - in this Dec. 10 2011 file photo Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, left, hands a present to Czech ex-president Vaclav Havel, right, during their meeting in Prague, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011. Havel, the dissident playwright who wove theater into

The Dalai Lama expressed sadness at learning of the passing away of his dear friend and former President of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic, Vaclav Havel.

In a letter to his wife Mrs. Dagmar Havlova, the Dalai lama wrote that the world has lost a great statesman whose steadfast and unflinching determination played a key role in bringing freedom and democracy to his country.The Dalai Lama said that Havel was an unassuming and courageous leader whom he personally had the greatest admiration and respect for and that he will miss him. The Dalai Lama recalled his meeting with President 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 the two men met regularly, most recently in Prague on 10 December 2011. The Dalai Lama offered his heartfelt condolences to Mrs. Dagmar Havlova and other members of their family, and concluded by stating that perhaps the best tribute to honor and remember President Václav Havel is to work towards building a more peaceful, open and just world.