DPP statement on the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Taiwan

Following the disastrous typhoon Morakot and the tragic loss of lives in the resulting floods and landslides, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, among many of Taiwan’s international friends, expressed sympathy and condolences. In the spirit of gratitude and in hopes of providing greater spiritual support to the victims and of the typhoon, mayors and magistrates of southern counties affected by the typhoon, led by Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu, jointly issued an invitation to His Holiness the Dalai Lama to visit the disaster-stricken area and comfort the survivors.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama is very popular and well respected in Taiwan, and as in his two previous visits to Taiwan, he has embodied messages of compassion, peace, and hope. We believe the messages he represents are particularly relevant to Taiwan at this moment when we are recovering from the tragic losses suffered during typhoon Morakot. We therefore affirm that President Ma has made the right decision in allowing His Holiness' visit at this time.

Throughout the aftermath of the typhoon, various religious organizations in Taiwan have acted swiftly in providing immediate material and spiritual support to the people in need, to help ease the suffering of those who have lost their loved ones, and to aid those working to rebuild their homes and their lives. His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit will not only add to such efforts but represent an encouraging symbol of international concern for Taiwan.

In regards to the criticisms of China and the provocative statements made by China’s official responsible for religious affairs, we believe they are not helpful for enhancing mutual understanding and sympathy across the Taiwan Strait. Such behavior of Chinese officials runs contrary to the expectations of the Taiwanese people who anticipate the spiritual compassion and peace that the Dalai Lama represents.