Tibetan advocates yesterday joined New Power Party (NPP) Legislator Freddy Lim (林昶佐) in launching a petition to invite the Dalai Lama to visit Taiwan this year, and urged civic organizations, religious groups and the public to help make it happen.
The initiative was announced at the beginning of a march in Taipei to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising.
“This is the best way to show to the world that Taiwan is different from China,” Lim said, adding that he hopes all Taiwanese would join the drive.
“A visit from the Dalai Lama would only focus on religion, as he is the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people and the followers of Tibetan Buddhism. He would be coming to promote religious teaching and to interact with other faiths in Taiwan,” he said. “Therefore the petition is based on efforts by ordinary people, non-governmental organizations and religious groups, and is not led by our party.”
Lim said the aim is for the visit to take place before the year ends.
NPP Chairman Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智) yesterday urged Taiwanese to support the petition.
“This can be our collective message to the world, that Taiwanese are standing together with those who are suffering due to the brutality and atrocities committed by the Chinese government,” he said.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Secretary-General Luo Wen-jia (羅文嘉), who also participated in the march, said: “We welcome the Dalai Lama making a trip to Taiwan. He should have the freedom and the right to go wherever he wants — even to his homeland.”
Tibet Religious Foundation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama chairman Dawa Tsering said he and many Tibetans in Taiwan would be elated if the visit happened.
“However, we do not want to make trouble for the DPP government... It would be up to the government to decide,” he said.
The Dalai Lama has expressed his desire to visit Taiwan again, so it could happen, he said, adding that the Nobel Peace Prize laureate has three reasons for doing so.
First, the Dalai Lama would conduct special blessing ceremonies and solemn dharma services to fulfill the spiritual needs of Tibetan Buddhists in Taiwan, as it has been 10 years since he last visited Taiwan in 2009, Tsering said.
Second, the Dalai Lama wants to foster exchanges with other religious bodies in Taiwan, and bring messages of peace and compassion for all of humanity, Tsering said.
Third, the Dalai Lama has been focusing on encouraging mutual understanding between religious figures and scientists, Tsering said, adding that in November last year, he hosted a conference in Dharamsala, India, to discuss quantum physics.
At that event, the Dalai Lama presided over a session with Nobel laureate Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲), who headed a delegation from Taiwan’s science community.
At that dialogue, the Dalai Lama said Taiwan would be the best place for dialogue with scientists from the Chinese-speaking world.
The Czech Republic’s Senate on Wednesday passed a resolution that supports a possible visit by the senate president to Taiwan. The resolution, initiated by Czech Senator Pavel Fischer, was passed with 50 votes in favor, one against and one abstention. The resolution blasts Beijing for having its Prague embassy send a letter to former Czech Senate president Jaroslav Kubera earlier this year threatening repercussions for Czech businesses if he visited Taiwan. The resolution shows the Senate’s support for a visit to Taiwan by Senate President Milos Vystrcil, accompanied by Czech business representatives, as the visit would be in the diplomatic long-term interests
The government and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday both spoke out against plans by the Chinese government to enact a national security law in Hong Kong. Chinese officials yesterday confirmed that the National People’s Congress would review a bill “on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to safeguard national security.” The Presidential Office said that the announcement was evidence that the “one country, two systems” framework fundamentally clashes with democratic freedoms. The de-escalation of tensions between Hong Kong and Beijing relies on the Chinese government’s willingness to respond to Hong Kongers’ demands,
STRONGER DEFENSES: The announcement could be considered tacit US support for the nation’s indigenous arms manufacturing program, Joseph Wu told lawmakers Just hours after President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) inauguration on Wednesday, the US Department of State’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced in Washington the possible sale of 18 MK-48 Heavy Weight Torpedoes to Taiwan. Reacting to the announcement, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday told a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee that the ministry applauded the US move, which would help to uphold the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). The TRA states that the US should “provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character … to maintain the capacity of the US to resist any resort
NPP WARNING: The NPP’s chairman said that a security law proposed by Beijing means it has renounced its promise to maintain ‘one country, two systems’ in HK The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) yesterday proposed changing the law to provide protection for those seeking political asylum. China at the opening of the National People’s Congress in Beijing on Thursday introduced a draft security law for Hong Kong to ban treason, subversion and sedition, with a review expected next week. TPP caucus whip Jang Chyi-lu (張其祿) said that the party is concerned about democracy advocates in Hong Kong and has taken action to support them. The party has proposed an amendment to Article 18 of the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例), which stipulates that the government can offer