Tibet Sun Online News
ON THE WEB, 31 July 2020
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama expressed his grief over the death of former President of Taiwan Lee Teng-hui, and said that Lee was an ally of the Tibetan people and did what he could to support them.
Lee Teng-hui succumbed to multiple organ failure on Thursday at the age of 97, since being hospitalised in February. The international community mourned his passing, crediting him for bringing Taiwan on the path of democracy despite China’s missile launches and fierce saber-rattling threats against the transformation.
In a condolence letter sent to Lee’s wife Tseng Wen-hui, and members of her family, the Dalai Lama wrote, “I had the honour of meeting your husband during my first visit to Taiwan in 1997 when he was the first popularly elected President. Subsequently, we met again in Taiwan and at Peace Forums elsewhere and I regard him as a personal friend.”
The Dalai Lama has praised as “exceptional achievement” by Lee his efforts in ushering in democracy to the island nation. Beijing saw Lee’s democratic reforms as a direct threat to its claim over Taiwan. As a result of the transformation, Lee Teng-hui became Taiwan’s first democratically-elected president in 1996.
“Today, Taiwan is a vibrant and prosperous democracy with a rich cultural heritage. Perhaps the best tribute we can pay him is to remember his courage and determination and emulate his dedication to democracy,” the Dalai Lama wrote.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement offered his “sincere condolences” on Lee’s passing, and said that Lee, as Taiwan’s first democratically-elected president, helped put an end to decades of authoritarianism and ushered in a new era of economic prosperity, openness, and rule of law in Taiwan.
“During his 12-year tenure, Lee’s bold reforms played a crucial role in transforming Taiwan into the beacon of democracy we see today. He cemented the deep friendship between the United States and Taiwan,” the statement said.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed his deep sorrow at Lee’s passing, and said “Lee advanced freedom, democracy and human rights in Taiwan.”
The Taiwanese government will hold a state funeral for the former President, a figure respected on the island for ending autocratic rule, but branded as the “Godfather of Taiwan secessionism” by China’s state-run Global Times.
Taiwan is another country that is suppressed and in danger of being swallowed by communist China. Tibet was the first victim and Tibet is now under military occupation of China. While Tibet had nobody to help either militarily or diplomatically, Taiwan has not only a significant military power to defend itself, it has the US to support it both militarily and diplomatically.
The greatest asset for Taiwan is its vibrant democracy. It was a one party dictatorship just like commie China until the Taiwan born Lee Teng-hui transformed the island nation into Asia’s most effusive democracy. Owing to this gush of freedom that has dawned upon the 23 million Taiwanese, it has become the envy of East Asia.
Tibetan exiles should also emulate Lee’s enthusiasm for democracy and create multi-party democracy rather than one party semi-democracy. In democracy, dissenting voice, free expression, open discourse on any ideology are the very basis of a vibrant democratic culture.
Owing to an environment that doesn’t allow freedom of thought and free expression stagnates the intellectual propensity of the individuals which is detrimental to the healthy growth of a nation. Tibetans can do much better than what we have had for the last sixty years.
The focus of debate should be what is the best recourse we have in our struggle for the reclamation of our nation for the security of future generations and the survival of our precious language, religion and culture.
Our policy makers must think of the survival of our nation and its people with its unique culture as the cornerstone of our struggle. No people wants to be ruled by others. Our Buddhist teachings makes it clear why we should not be ruled by others in these lines: རང་དབང་ཐམས་ཅད་བདེ་བ་ཡིན་…
The missing words from the Buddhist quote:
རང་དབང་ཐམས་ཅད་བདེ་བ་ཡིན་ གཞན་དབང་ཐམས་ཅད་སྡུག་བསྔལ་ཡིན་། །