Taiwan legislators relaunch Parliamentary Group for Tibet

DHARAMSALA, 9 July:  Taiwanese legislators have reintroduced their Parliamentary Group for Tibet and called on President Tsai Ing-wen’s administration to unequivocally support His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit to the island.

Taiwan Parliamentary Group for Tibet has been relaunched in Taipei on Wednesday with as many as 46 lawmakers across party lines from the island’s the 10th Legislative Yuan, sworn in on February after the 2020 Taiwanese legislative election was held on 11 January 2020.

The support group has raised the issue of the Tibetan Nobel Laureates’ visit to Taiwan after he made his desire to visit Taiwan once again public on Sunday while conducting online teaching on “Eight Verses for Training the Mind” to his devotees in the self-ruled island.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has responded by stating that it will welcome the Dalai Lama “at a time that is convenient for both sides.”

Freddy Lim, the musician turned politician and outspoken advocate of Taiwanese independence who heads the group has called for Taiwan’s government to unequivocally support the Dalai Lama’s wish to re-visit Taiwan.   

“Whenever is a convenient time for the Dalai Lama is a convenient time for us,” Taipei Times quoted the independent Legislator saying in its report.

Lin has also called out China for imposing the draconian security law in Hong Kong, detaining and confining Muslim Uighurs in internment camps as well as for violation of religious freedom and human rights in Tibet.

A group of 30 Taiwanese legislators from the 9th Legislative Yuan formed Taiwan’s Parliamentary Group for Tibet in October 2016 with Freddy Lim at the helm following his visit to the Dharamsala in September 2016 with a 10-member delegation from Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan (HRNTT). 

The revived parliamentary group for Tibet now boasts cross-caucus membership with increase members such as Liu Shyh-fang, Hung Sun-han and Fan Yun of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), Chen Po-wei of the Taiwan Statebuilding Party, and Chiu Hsien-chih of the New Power Party among others.

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 prior to that, he visited Taiwan in 1997and 2001.

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