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Democracy and Human Rights in Asia

One Year After an Empty Chair in Oslo

Sunday, December 11, 2011, 10.00–12.00
Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague, Large Hall
On Sunday, December 11, 2011 at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague, a roundtable focused on the current state of democracy and human rights in Asia was held in commemoration of the first anniversary of the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. The discussion was loosely linked to the “Peace, Democracy and Human Rights in Asia” conference that was organized by the Forum 2000 Foundation in 2009.
Aimed primarily at students and members of the professional public, the event was by invitation only. You could watch a live broadcast on our website in the Web TV section where a video recording of the proceedings is available now. The discussion was held in English.



Moderator: Jan Urban, Journalist, Czech Republic



Human rights are universal. China, Myanmar (Burma) and other Asian countries are members of the United Nations and are therefore bound by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In fact, one of the declaration’s authors, Peng Chun Chang from China, based many of the declaration’s principles on Confucian and other Eastern teachings. Nonetheless, the human rights situation in parts of the region is a cause for grave concern. The empty chair at the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony remains a sad symbol of this.
Despite appearances, the full development of China or Burma’s huge potential will not be possible without liberating individual creativity, allowing free expression and free access to information, nor without ensuring full transparency and government accountability through functioning democracy and the rule of law.
  • What is the current state of democracy and human rights in Asia?
  • What are the various perspectives?
  • How should the international community approach these issues?

A summary and transcript of the discussion can be found here

Video Recordings and Photographs

Video recordings and photographs from the roundtable discussion and the whole visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Prague from December 10 to 13, 2011 can be found at the following links:
  • Recording of the roundtable discussion on “Democracy and Human Rights in Asia: One Year After an Empty Chair in Oslo”
  • Recording of the public talk by His Holiness
  • Recording of the press conference with His Holiness
  • Photographs from the whole visit of His Holiness



Public Talk by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

In Prague, His Holiness the Dalai Lama also gave a public talk entitled “Searching for Happiness in a Troubled World” which was held at the Prague Congress Centre on Sunday, December 11, 2011. More information can be found here.

Conferences and Roundtables

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Jyllands-Posten Foundation


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