Dharamshala — Taiwan's Legislative Yuan has expressed its warm welcome for His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama to visit Taiwan. The news came after the spiritual leader of Tibet accepted an invitation extended to him to visit Taiwan and deliver a speech on freedom and democracy, requested by a Taiwanese parliamentary delegation which came to announce its collaboration with the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, in Dharamshala.
'Taiwan's legislative Yuan will always welcome people from any country if they are willing to help spread democracy and freedom,' Taiwan's Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan said Tuesday, responding to His Holiness the Dalai Lama's enthusiastic comment about a possible return to Taiwan.
New Power Party (NPP) legislator and black metal musician Freddy Lim extended the invitation during his visit to His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Dharamshala, India on September 5, along with his colleague from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, Kolas Yotaka.
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate on Monday said he would be glad to visit Taiwan again after New Power Party (NPP) Legislator Freddy Lim asked him during a trip to India to speak at the Legislative Yuan. Lim said the spiritual leader had replied that he is very glad to visit Taiwan again. Lim also said that peace can only be achieved if people from different countries are willing to work together.
“The people of Taiwan have always been concerned with human rights violations in Tibet, the Taiwanese government has remained silent in recent years, despite the Chinese oppression of human rights, Lim said. Now that the younger generation is on the rise, it is a key moment for Taiwan to start reinforcing its presence within the international human-rights community, he said, adding that "building trust and friendship with the people of Tibet is is a key moment."
Taiwan's rock star Lim has long been a supporter of the Tibetan cause. This is not the first time Lim has met the His Holines, he previously met with him in 2008 and 2019, but the first as a Taiwanese parliamentarian. The lead singer of Taiwanese heavy metal band Chthonic, had previously organized Free Tibet concerts in 2003 and 2009. He has also frequently expresses admiration for the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, featuring a large mural of him in his NPP office.
According to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Kolas Yotaka, who also visited His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the democratically elected political leader of Tibetan people, Dr Lobsang Sangay, said that many Taiwanese Buddhist groups had tried to arrange for His Holiness the Dalai Lama to visit Taiwan, but the administration of former president Ma Ying-jeou refused to issue him a visa.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama's last trip to Taiwan was in 2009, when he came to the country to pray for survivors and victims of the deadly Typhoon Morakot. "We hope that with a consensus from both sides and at an appropriate time, the Dalai Lama will be allowed to visit Taiwan," Dr Sangay said.
The Tibetan spiritual leader supported Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen's apology in August this year, to Aborigines as part of 'a good trend', saying that people should seek to resolve conflict and avoid extremist or radical criticism, Yotaka said, adding that criticism would not solve issues and would prevent true settlement.
"I think in many parts of the world, the stronger nation, when they come, they simply ignore the feelings of native people," Yotaka said, in response to His Holiness the Dalai Lama's comment: "The apology was very good."
"Now that is eventually changing worldwide, I think; the recognition of native people's rights. So I think with that kind of world trend... I think Australian government also expressed something similar... Canada as well. So Taiwan also. I think it is a very good trend, I think. Good trend," he added.
Since China's invasion of their country, Tibetan people have never stopped peacefully resisting the occupation and the destruction of their way of life. Instead of offering a formal apology for their crimes against Tibetan people and admit their wrongdoing in Tibet, the Chinese government has chosen to respond with an iron fist.
According to the delegation, His Holiness the Dalai Lama was also concerned over the rights of residency of Tibetans-in-exile in Taiwan and openly praised the Tsai administration's proposal to abolish the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission, Yotaka said.
The commission symbolizes Chinese authority on Tibetans and has proved to be a long-term roadblock in communication between Taiwan and the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), Dr Sangay said, adding that the CTA has high expectations of the Tsai administration.
Meanwhile, the delegation Monday held a press conference in Dharamshala where they also declared their intention to form "All party parliamentary group for Tibet" in the Taiwan Parliament and various startup projects with Tibetan settlement offices in India.
Tibet was invaded by Communist China, starting in 1949, Beijing calls a "peaceful liberation". Since that time, over 1.2 million out of 6 Tibetans have been killed, over 6000 monasteries have been destroyed— the acts of murder, rape and arbitrary imprisonment, torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment were inflicted on the Tibetans inside Tibet.
Tibet was traditionally comprised of three main areas— U-tsang, Kham and Amdo provinces, covers an area of 870,000 square miles. After 1949, other Tibetan areas (Amdo and Kham) were incorporated into the neighboring, Chinese provinces of Gansu, Qinghai, Sichuan, and Yunnan.