Beginning of 1989 Velvet Revolution commemorated in Prague

A number of events have been held in Prague to mark the anniversary of the beginning of the Velvet Revolution, which led to the collapse of the communist regime in 1989. President Vaclav Klaus, former president Vaclav Havel and Prime Minister Stanislav Gross laid flowers at the spot where riot police attacked a peaceful student demonstration on Narodni trida exactly 15 years ago.

Mr Havel, the former dissident who led the Velvet Revolution and was elected president shortly after the fall of communism, was greeted by cheers of "long live Havel, long live Havel".

Other politicians and many ordinary Czechs laid wreathes and lit candles at the memorial on Narodni Street throughout the day.

Author: Ian Willoughby