Reporters and photographers crowded close to capture the Dalai Lama’s message and the image of the exiled Tibetan leader praying.
His Holiness Dalai Lama says that when people can express their opposing views without fear, it is a healthy sign of freedom and democracy. Around 20 pro-Communist supporters were protesting his Taiwan visit. "I love it," His Holiness told reporters in response. "It's an indication of freedom of expression. It's wonderful."
"In any case, Taiwan should have very close and unique links with mainland China, but at the same time Taiwan also should enjoy democracy and prosperity," stated His Holiness the Dalai Lama, in a brief reference to the regional political situation and Taiwan’s relationship with mainland China.
Kneeling on the ground above what was once the farming village of Shiao Lin, the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama offered his prayers for the estimated 500 villagers who died in mudslides triggered by Typhoon Morakot in early August. The village is now an empty stretch of mud and scattered boulders. But at least the survivors are being comforted, those who lost their lives are being prayed for, and the land is being blessed by the Buddhists’ beloved spiritual leader.