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Taiwan praised as 'democratic treasure' by Tibetan representative

2019/03/10 20:18:42

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Taipei, March 10 (CNA) A representative of the Dalai Lama described Taiwan as a "democratic treasure" in a recent interview with CNA and called it the only democratic Chinese society in the world that lends support to Tibet.

Dawa Tsering (達瓦才仁), chairman of the Tibet Religious Foundation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama established in Taipei in 1997 and envoy of the Central Tibetan Administration in Taiwan, made the remarks in the interview ahead of the 60th anniversary of Tibetan Uprising Day on Sunday, which was commemorated by many in Taiwan.

"In recent years, more and more Taiwanese, in particular young men and women, are concerned about issues related to Tibet," Dawa said.

"I'm really surprised to see more and more young Taiwanese taking part in our activities."

Dawa, who has lived in Taiwan for nearly 15 years, praised Taiwan as the only Chinese society that enjoys democracy, freedom and is willing to support Tibet.

For Tibetan people Taiwan is a "democratic treasure" among Chinese societies. However, he cautioned Taiwan "to be very careful and be sure you are able to protect yourselves if you sign any agreement with the Chinese communists."

"You must learn from what Tibet has been through," Dawa said.

He was referring to the March 10 Tibetan uprising in 1959, when an armed rebellion launched by the Tibetans against Chinese rule resulted in a violent crackdown and the flight of the Dalai Lama into exile.

Tashi Tsering (札西慈仁), chairman of the Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan who has lived in Taiwan for more than two decades, told CNA that there are about 150 Tibetans in Taiwan, with most earning a living as unskilled workers in the Taoyuan area.

"Our lives in Taiwan are not easy, but we appreciate it," he said. "We are very much touched by the friendliness and hospitality of Taiwan's people, especially when we need help."

Tashi said it is their hope Taiwan's government will help them set up an exclusive religious center or dagoba for Tibetan Buddhists, which will help demonstrate the bond between Taiwan and Tibet and serve as a venue for gatherings like the mosque for Muslims in downtown Taipei.

To mark the 60th anniversary of the Tibetan revolt against Beijing's rule, many Taiwan-based civil groups have been holding an annual "Circling for Free Tibet" in Taipei since January, to increase popular awareness of the incident.

(By Miao Chung-hen and Flor Wang)