Taiwan’s Political Parties Protests against DPP’s Invitation to Dalai Lama

Ahead of the Dalai Lama’s visit to Taiwan, over ten political organizations have flayed the decision of the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP’s) invitation to the religious leader to visit the island, terming it “unethical” and “politically motivated”.

Expressing doubts if the visit would boost relief work in the wake of Typhoon Morakot, the parties said that visit could strain relations between Taiwan and Chinese mainland.

Nearly 100 members, coming from the Alliance for the Reunification of China, the Labour Rights Association, the Labour Party and other organizations staged a protest outside headquarers of the DPP in Taipei.

It may be mentioned that the Dalai Lama was invited to visit the islands by seven Taiwan mayors and county chiefs from the DPP on Wednesday, to join religious activities for victims of typhoon Morakot.

A joint declaration issued by protestors, however, said that the DPP’s invitation of the Dalai Lama is not at all linked to the “humanitarian care” for disaster-stricken Taiwanese.

The DPP had, the declaration went on to say, only tried to derive mileage out of disaster relief activities and the suffering of residents for its own political interest.

The declaration further said that the Dalai Lama has all along been involved in separatist activities, and has been a questionable figure in regard to humanitarian issues, the declaration said.

“His visit would undoubtedly cause serious harm to the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations.”

In the meanwhile, Taiwan’s ruling Kuomintang (KMT) party has sent a special envoy to China to firm up ties ahead of the controversial visit, said a report.

The report said that the KMT is concerned the Tibetan spiritual leader’s visit could harm warming relations with Beijing, prompting China to delay the signing of a major trade pact or cut down on the number of visitors to the island.

The United Evening News was citing unnamed sources and KMT officials were not immediately available for comment on the report.

The Dalai Lama is set for an August 30 to September 4 visit to the island, which is still reeling from a devastating typhoon that struck earlier this month killing 571 people.

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