The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday accused the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) of being dishonest after a DPP-proposed resolution inviting the Dalai Lama to speak at the legislature passed the Procedure Committee but was put low on the agenda for Friday’s plenary session.
DPP Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said he suspected KMT lawmakers of purposely placing the item at the bottom of the agenda in the hope it would be scrapped on a technicality.
Tsai said the KMT wanted to appear to welcome the resolution, but did not want the Dalai Lama to visit.
“They want to save face but they also plan to axe the resolution,” he said.
Last week at a meeting with foreign press, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said the timing was not appropriate for a visit from the Nobel Peace laureate and Tibetan spiritual leader. His comment marked a reversal of the support he voiced for the Tibetan movement during his presidential campaign earlier this year, when he also said he hoped the Dalai Lama would come to Taiwan.
Friday’s plenary session has 12 items on the agenda so far, including the Cabinet’s consumer voucher plan and matters related to the Election and Recall Law and public television.
Meanwhile, Kaohsiung County Commissioner Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興) joined Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) and the DPP in welcoming the Dalai Lama to visit.
“The majority of Taiwanese support [the] Dalai [Lama] visiting. We are studying the possibility of inviting world religious leaders, including [the] Dalai [Lama], to attend an interfaith religious exchange that could be called the ‘religious United Nations,’” he said at a meeting of the county government.
DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) also welcomed a visit by the Dalai Lama.
“The Dalai Lama is a courageous and respectful leader as well as a symbol of hope, freedom and human rights in Tibet. He has fought for the freedom of Tibet and raised world awareness and concerns about the difficulties and challenges facing Tibet today. He is a world-respected religious and political leader,” Tsai said in a statement.
“If the Dalai Lama thinks my invitation ... appropriate, it would be a pleasure for me and the DPP to invite him,” the statement said.