Dalai Lama offers Tibetan medicine to frail Czech icon Havel

PRAGUE- Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama said Monday he had offered frail Czech freedom icon Vaclav Havel a "Tibetan method" to overcome the effects of a recent illness.
"His physical condition is quite weak so... I recommended some Tibetan method," said the Dalai Lama, currently on a four-day visit to Prague at the invitation of former Czech president Havel.

"I told him now I'm acting like a Tibetan physician to my long-time friend," the 76-year-old told reporters with a laugh, after asking Havel "to live ten more years."
Havel, 75, the president of Czechoslovakia in 1990-1992 and of the successor Czech Republic in 1993-2003, has long battled poor health, partly caused by the five years he spent in communist jails.
The former dissident playwright became a hero of the peaceful Velvet Revolution that toppled the 41-year communist rule in his country in late 1989.
Local media said Havel, who has been grappling with breathing problems since he had part of his lung removed in 1996 to stop cancer, had cancelled part of his weekend programme and only met the Dalai Lama shortly on Saturday.
"On Sunday, Vaclav Havel returned to his weekend house to rest. He will stay there until Christmas, which he will spend in Prague," his secretary Sabina Tancevova told AFP.
"He feels tired, and in recent days he has suffered from a virus that exhausted him. But the meeting with His Holiness on Saturday encouraged him," she added.
The Dalai Lama, who fled Tibet following a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, founded a government in exile in the northern Indian town of Dharamshala after being offered refuge there.
He remains revered in China's Tibetan areas but is vilified as a "separatist" by China's communist authorities.
In Prague on Sunday, the Dalai Lama attended a round table on human rights along with former French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner and Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi, among others.

Tuesday, December 13th 2011

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