By Loa Iok-sin / Taipei Times
Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Lin Shih-chia (林世嘉) yesterday said she would propose officially inviting Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to deliver a speech at the Legislative Yuan.
“To show that we’re in solidarity with the Tibetans in their quest for freedom, I will make a proposal to formally invite the Dalai Lama to deliver a speech at our legislature,” Lin said during a question-and-answer session after the Tibetan government-in-exile’s Minister for Information and International Relations Dicki Chhoyang made a presentation at the Legislative Yuan on the exiled government, its policies and issues facing Tibetans inside and outside Tibet.
The event was co-hosted by Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) and the Tibetan Religious Foundation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Lin’s proposal triggered a round of applause from the audience.
She said she would begin to collect signatures from fellow legislators and hopefully submit the proposal during a plenary session in the next legislative session.
Dicki Chhoyang is in Taiwan on her first stop of a tour to exiled Tibetan communities. Her tour will also include stops in South Korea and Japan.
In her speech, the Tibetan minister stressed that the government-in-exile would stand firmly behind the principles of non-violence and the middle-way approach in solving the Tibet issue.
Dicki Chhoyang also criticized the Chinese government for what she said was Beijing laying blame on the Dalai Lama and the government-in-exile for anti-Chinese sentiment and interethnic conflict in China.
“It [the conflicts] is often rooted in misguided, not well-structured, policies,” she said. “First, the patriotic re-education campaigns imposed on monasteries, resettlement of nomads and the language policy.”
Dicki Chhoyang said that in its propaganda campaigns, the Chinese government stations troops in monasteries and asks monks to denounce the Dalai Lama, while trying to destroy the centuries-old way of life of Tibetan nomads by forcing them to resettle in collective communities.
On language policy, the Chinese government has made Mandarin the medium of instruction in schools and only offers a few hours of Tibetan-language classes — taught in Chinese — per week, she added.
“A lot of Chinese in mainland [sic] China have no access to information other than what’s been given by the government,” Dicki Chhoyang said. “We really would like to request Chinese communities in free societies to deliver the accurate information.”
Hsiao said that while both Taiwan and Tibet are facing threats from China, “the suffering of Tibetans is much more serious than the Taiwanese.”
“It saddens me to see Tibetans trying to speak out through extreme actions, such as self-immolation, because they cannot take it anymore,” Hsiao said.
“We should all show more concern to human rights conditions in Tibet,” Hsiao said.