Taiwan’s father of democracy passes away at 97

DHARAMSALA, 31 July: Former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui,  has passed away at the age of 97, after being hospitalised for nearly half a year.

He was Taiwan’s first democratically elected president and considered the “Father of Taiwan’s democracy.” He served as Taiwan’s president from 1988 to 2000 and led Taiwan on the path of democracy by defying Beijing which claims the island a wayward province to be reunified with China by force if necessary.

The former president passed away on Thursday due to septic shock and multiple organ failure at Taipei Veterans General Hospital where he was being treated since 8 Feb earlier this year.

Lee was the first president of Taiwan to host His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Taiwan. Taiwan’s father of democracy hosted the Tibetan spiritual leader to Taiwan in 1997. China has branded both the leaders “splittist,”

As the global community mourns his demise, the political head of the Tibetan people, President Dr Lobsang Sangay has also condoled the demise of Taiwan’s former president.

“On behalf of the Central Tibetan Administration and the Tibetan people, I offer our deepest condolences on the passing of former President of Taiwan, Mr Lee Teng-hui. His demise is grieved not only by the people of Taiwan but Tibetans all over the world,” President Sangay has said.

President Sangay has further described the late President as a “visionary” commended his contribution to democracy and stated that “History will always remember him as the founding father of Asia’s most dynamic and vibrant democracy.“

“His legacy will continue to inspire us. Once again I send my most heartfelt condolences to his family.”

The incumbent President of Taiwan has declared the passing of Taiwan’s first democratically elected president as a day to mourn for her and all Taiwanese. 

“He laid the foundation for a democracy built on pride & our own identity, & his legacy will guide generations of Taiwanese to face the challenges ahead with courage,” President Tsai Ing-wen tweeted.

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