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21october20104Dharamshala: Taiwan's second city, Kaohsiung, is currently playing host to a month-long exhibition organised by the Tibet Religious Foundation.

The exhibition, which includes a series of lectures; displays of traditional Tibetan arts and crafts; and the presentation of 22 documentary films with Tibetan themes, is taking place at a series of prestigious venues, including the Kaohsiung Museum of History. The events are intended to raise awareness of Tibetan history and culture among the Taiwanese, and to encourage greater cultural exchange between the two peoples.

Keynote speakers have included Mr Dawa Tsering, representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and Professor Pen Mei Li of Jiaotong University, Taiwan, who spoke on the manifold challenges faced by the Tibetan community in exile.

The present exhibition represents a further strengthening of understanding between Taiwan and the Tibetan community, and follows a series of lectures and film screenings held at Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan, in February and March of this year. Mr Dawa Tsering also spoke at that event, taking as his subject the "Sino-Tibetan relationship".

Ties have been reinforced by His Holiness the Dalai Lama's several visits to Taiwan, in 1997, 2001, and, most recently, in August last year, when he was invited by several southern Taiwanese leaders to deliver Dharma sermons for the victims of Typhoon Morakot.

The current programme includes a display of photographs, currently occupying the third floor of the Kaohsiung Museum of History, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of democracy in the Tibetan community in exile. His Holiness the Dalai Lama introduced democracy to the community in 1960, and the Tibetan Parliament in exile (then known as the Commission of Tibetan People's Deputies) first met in September of that year.

At the unveiling of this display, the Tibet Religious Foundation expressed, in a statement, their profound gratitude to His Holiness for "his extraordinary efforts to transform the Tibetan polity into a genuine democracy".

A common Tibetan and Taiwanese interest in democracy and cultural preservation, evinced by this exhibition, will contribute to the relationship between the two peoples.

The exhibition is due to close on 28 November 2010.

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