Dalai Lama begins trip to Taiwan

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Dalai Lama in 2007
Image: Luca Galuzzi.

The spiritual leader of Tibet, the Dalai Lama, has begun his visit to Taiwan. He has travelled to southern Taiwan to offer condolences to victims of the recent typhoon, Morokot, which was the worst in 50 years.

Don't politicize it, that will be no good for anybody

—Dalai Lama's representative in Taiwan

The visit has sparked condemnation from China, which regards the Dalai Lama as a rebel seeking independence for Tibet. Taiwan, in the form of the Republic of China, also assert their independence from Mainland China, against the country's wishes.

Upon the Dalai Lama's arrival at a Taipei train station, scuffles broke out between supporters and police, according to the Associated Press. This morning he cancelled a planned international news conference after there was concern over the politicising of his visit. The Dalai Lama's representative in Taiwan was quoted as saying "Don't politicize it, that will be no good for anybody."

As he boarded his flight yesterday, the Dalai Lama emphasised his visit was not of a political nature and instead he was invited by the Taiwanese people. He is due to lead a mass prayer for the Buddhist followers on the island.