Monday, 31 August 2009

Dalai Lama visits Taiwan

In a first visit to the self-ruled island since 2001, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader prays for Taiwan's typhoon victims.

The intention - to offer comfort to those whose lives were devastated by the typhoon that swept through parts of Taiwan in August.

But not everyone welcomes the Dalai Lama's visit. Some have branded it a political stunt. On arrival he remained firm about the sincerity of the trip.
The Dalai Lama saying:

"My side, no political agenda, nothing to discuss with the leaders of this country."

Many lost friends and family in the disaster as well as their homes

Villager Mr. Yen saying:

"Look, there are all these people. he is coming here to comfort us. I'm happy about that."

Villager Hsu Hsin-Yao:

"It's great that he's come. It's good for our hearts."

Earlier in Khaosiung City, protestors gathered at the hotel where the Dalai Lama was staying

Protest organiser saying:

"To donate us money or help us rebuild our houses would be more meaningful. What is he doing in this hotel? He should be staying in our village in the disaster area. Has he seen it or not? How can he pray for us?"

As the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader prayed for the victims at Hsiao Lin Village, China, which regards Taiwan as a breakaway province denounced the trip saying it could have a "negative influence" on relations.

Joanne Nicholson, Reuters