News

    Dalai Lama Promises No Politics While in Taiwan

    Multimedia

    Audio

    The Dalai Lama arrived in Taiwan late Sunday night, saying he was eager to give comfort to victims of Typhoon Morakot.  Before his arrival, the Tibetan spiritual leader promised not to raise political issues, saying he had been invited and it was his responsibility to comfort those suffering from tragedy. 
     
    Hundreds of supporters and protesters swarmed around the Dalai Lama when he arrived at the Taoyuan train station, his departure point for the typhoon-devasted south.  Some applauded, while others shouted, "Dalai Lama, go home!" 

    Before his arrival in Taiwan, the Dalai Lama promised he would avoid engaging in political activities.  He even canceled a press conference scheduled for Monday in the southern city of Kaohsiung, saying he wanted to spend more time with the victims of landslides in two isolated mountain villages.

    But once at the train station, the Dalai Lama held in an impromptu press conference during which he rebutted Chinese accusations that he is political separatist.  Beijing has opposed the Dalai Lama's trip to Taiwan, claiming that he is not a purely religious figure.

    "As far as Tibet is concerned, we are not seeking independence, we are not seeking separation," said the Dalai Lama. "We are fully committed to staying within the People's Republic of China."

    The Dalai Lama added that he supports Taiwan's efforts to build closer relations with the mainland. 

    President Ma Ying-jeou has based his presidency on building better trade and economic ties with the mainland.  In December, Mr. Ma said it was not the right time to invite the Dalai Lama, crushing the hopes of many members of Taiwan's large Tibetan community in exile.

    But in the weeks since Typhoon Morakot, Mr. Ma's public approval ratings have tumbled to below 20 percent.  Many Taiwanese view the government's response to the disaster as having been slow and disorganized.  Last Thursday, opposition party mayors and magistrates announced that they had invited the Dalai Lama to Taiwan to comfort victims of the storm.  Many analysts agree that given his political weakness, Mr. Ma had no choice but to agree to the spiritual leader's visit.

    On Sunday, Wu Poh-shiung, the Chairman of Mr. Ma's ruling KMT Party, expressed confidence that the Dalai Lama would not engage in political activities during his visit, despite the Dalai Lama's history of speaking out against Chinese policy during trips abroad.

    "[T]he Dalai Lama understands politics better than anyone," Wu said.  He added that the Dali Lama "is a kind person who really wants to help instead of creating trouble for us."

    On Monday, the Dalai Lama plans to visit victims in the villages of Hsaio Lin and Lin-bian.  More than 600 people are estimated to have died in the typhoon and resulting landslides.  Mr. Ma, however, says he will not meet with the Dalai Lama during his visit. 

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora