《TAIPEI TIMES》Lawmakers restart Tibet group, as Dalai Lama seeks visit
Independent Legislator Freddy Lim yesterday speaks in front of a portrait of the Dalai Lama at the official formation in Taipei of the Taiwan Parliamentary Group for Tibet. Photo: CNA
By Sean Lin / Staff reporter
Independent Legislator Freddy Lim （林昶佐） yesterday formed the Taiwan Parliamentary Group for Tibet for the current legislative term, while calling on the Democratic Progressive Party administration to go along with the Dalai Lama, who on Sunday during a livestream said that he would like to pay the nation another visit.
The group was joined by 46 lawmakers across party lines, making it larger than the iteration in the previous legislative session, Lim said.
After the Buddhist leader expressed his desire to visit the nation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that a visit would go ahead “when the time is convenient for both sides,” Lim said, asking when it would be a “convenient time” for the nation.
The nation should adopt a firmer stance on its support of human rights and say: “Whenever is a convenient time for the Dalai Lama is a convenient time for us,” the lawmaker said.
Thanks to the efforts of the previous group, the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission was abolished, allowing Tibet a “normalized and equal” channel for exchanges with the nation, he said.
The new group would continue to uphold the rights of Tibetans in the nation, but also concern itself with Beijing’s arbitrary implementation of the Hong Kong national security legislation, its establishment of internment camps in China’s Xinjiang region and its infringement on religious freedom in Tibet, he said.
Hopefully, the group would function as a hub that could rally international support for Tibet and human rights, Lim added.
Tibet signed a peace treaty with China, but within eight years it proved to be a failure, Tibet Religious Foundation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama chairman Dawa Tsering said.
Tibet is a symbol of peace worldwide, yet it cannot live in peace with China, he said.
He said that he hopes to see discussions about Chinese oppression grow in Taiwan, which has managed to keep its sovereignty in the face of daunting threats by Beijing.