Three Taiwan groups plan to invite Dalai Lama

December 9th, 2008 - 1:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Taipei, Dec 9 (DPA) Three Taiwan groups, who are angry over President Ma Ying-jeou’s statement that it was not right time for the Dalai Lama to visit the country, plan to invite the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader to come to Taiwan for religious purposes, reports said Tuesday.Taiwan’s Kaohsiung County Magistrate Yang Chiu-hsing Monday joined Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu and the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in welcoming the Dalai Lama to visit Taiwan.

“The majority of Taiwanese support (the) Dalai Lama’s visit. We are studying the possibility of inviting world religious leaders, including (the) Dalai (Lama), to attend an inter-faith religious exchange activity which may be called ‘religious United Nations’,” he said at a meeting of the county government.

On Tuesday DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ying-wen also expressed her welcome to 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 would be appropriate, it would be the pleasure of both myself and the DPP to invite him for a visit,” the statement said.

The DPP and the Kaohsiung county and Kaohsiung city governments’ invitations come after Ma said last week that it is not appropriate for Dalai to visit Taiwan at the present moment, apparently for fear that the spiritual leader’s visit would hurt the fast-improving Taipei-Beijing ties.

Ma’s statement came as a shock to many Taiwanese because he in the past welcomed the Dalai Lama to Taiwan.

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