published: 15.09.2013, 20:14 | updated: 15.09.2013 20:21:45
Prague - Former Czech president Vaclav Havel, a dissident under the Communist regime, refused the nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 and proposed Aung San Suu Kyi from Burma instead of him, Suu Kyii said at the opening of the 17th conference Forum 2000 today.
In her speech, Suu Kyii voiced thanks to Havel for the support he expressed to the Burmese opposition at the time of the rule of the military junta in the country.
Suu Kyii said he had maintained in the Burmese opposition the flame of hope when it was undergoing the worst time, which would never be forgotten.
She said Havel had done much for democracy and human rights not only in Burma, but also elsewhere in the world.
Before Suu Kyii's arrival, the moderator of the opening session said in the past years, Forum 2000 organisers had regularly left a prepared chair for Aung San Suu Kyi that used to remain empty.
They hoped that the day would come on which they would be able to welcome the Burmese dissident at the conference established by Havel.
Aung San Suu Kyi was welcomed by a standing ovation. The audience included former Czech foreign minister and head of the Presidential Office during Havel's term Karel Schwarzenberg (TOP 09), U.S. ambassador Norman Eisen, Catholic priest and leading theologian Tomas Halik, economist Tomas Sedlacek and Social Democrat MEP Libor Roucek.
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