Sun, Jun 25, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Chen seeks divine inspiration

SAY A LI'L PRAYER A presidential aide said Chen talked with a Buddhist master to seek guidance on domestic politics as well as cross-strait affairs

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian, second right, yesterday prays for national prosperity and social stability at the Longshan Temple in Taipei three days before the legislature is to vote on a presidential recall motion.

PHOTO: LO PEI-DER, TAIPEI TIMES

With the legislature set to vote on the recall motion on Tuesday, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday visited two temples and sought guidance from a Buddhist master.

Before offering incense at Longshan Temple and Paoan Temple yesterday morning, Chen visited Master Sheng Yen (聖嚴法師), founder of the Dharma Drum Mountain Foundation.

Deputy Secretary-General of the Presidential Office Chou Jung-tai (卓榮泰) said the president told Sheng Yen that he regretted not having shown more benevolence and wisdom, which has given rise to confrontations and anxieties.

"Although the president does not seek guidance from the master on a daily basis, the president has a Chinese calligraphy written by the master hanging on the wall of the Presidential Office," Chou told reporters after Chen's visit to the Longshan Temple in Taipei.

The calligraphy reads: You don't have any enemies if you are kind; you don't have any worries if you are wise."

"The president blamed himself for not having enough wisdom and benevolence and therefore causing conflicts and concern," Chou said.

Chen also told the master that he had given a lot of thought on how to push for political negotiation and cross-strait dialogue and that he hoped the master would give him guidance and help him in this regard, Chou said.

Chen received a warm welcome from his supporters with some applauding and shouting "A-bian" (Chen's nickname) and jiayou (a phrase of encouragement in Mandarin).

The president responded with a beaming smile -- something rarely seen since the pan-blue alliance initiated the recall proposal -- but did not make any public speech at the two temples.

Chou said the president will visit more religious shrines today to pray for the well-being of the country and the people.

"The president prayed for national prosperity, social stability, better cross-strait relations and world peace, Chou said.

Chen is scheduled to visit two more temples in his hometown in Tainan County today.

Chou said the trip had been arranged because the president's mother was very concerned about him and and it has been a long since the president last visited his hometown.

Meanwhile, Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday called on opposition parties to respect the outcome of Tuesday's vote on the recall motion.

"As Taiwan is a democratic country governed by the rule of law, everyone must respect the judicial investigation into the corruption scandals and accept the result of the recall motion because the process is being conducted in a democratic manner," she said while attending an event held in Wanli (萬里), Taipei County.

While the planned "blue ocean" coffee meeting she proposed earlier this month fell flat because of bad timing, Lu said that she would like to organize a "blue sky, green ground" tea party after the vote on the recall motion.

"I'd like to invite leaders of civic groups to sit down and think about how to turn a crisis into an opportunity and jointly build the country into a place where there is a `blue sky and green ground,'" she said.

Green and blue are the colors meant to represent the Democratic Progressive Party and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

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