August 12, 2005
"The future of Tibet has become a focus of attention worldwide by people who support human rights and world peace. As a free and liberal country, Taiwan provides a wonderful environment to develop a platform for the global exchange of information on the Tibet issue," Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission Minister Hsu Chih-hsiung (???) said yesterday during the World Youth Care for Tibet-Taiwan Forum.
The forum, which opened yesterday and will run until Saturday, brought together 48 youth delegates from Taiwan and 27 other countries including the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Bulgaria, India and Nepal. The delegates will discuss the issues Tibet faces in the 21st century from various perspectives and come up with new ideas for the future of both Tibet and Taiwan.
Speaking at the forum, Karma Lekshe Tsomo, a theology and religious studies professor at the University of San Diego, praised the Dalai Lama for his commitment to the preservation of Tibetan culture and promoting human rights.
"In the aftermath of Sept. 11 and the US' military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq -- which changed the nature of global politics and reconfirmed the vulnerable status of smaller nations and people -- it is important to support the intentions expressed by the Tibetan spiritual leader that Tibet be governed by democratic principles," he said.
With Tibetan Buddhism flourishing in Taiwan -- there are about 500 Tibetans from India and Nepal living in the country -- Ngodup Wangmo, deputy director of the commission, pledged to help Tibetans live a better life here, and to preserve Tibetan culture.
Lai I-chung (???), director of Taiwan ThinkTank's international department, said that in the post-Cold War era, the Tibetan issue has transcended conventional political differences.
"Its appeals for human rights, religious freedom, self-determination and peace are universally shared by people of almost all political orientations," he said.
The four-day forum will include discussions of Tibetan issues from both Taiwanese and global perspectives.
Yesterday, independent academics and students talked about cultural differences between Taiwan and Tibet, and shared poems and paintings from Tibet.
Since a failed Tibetan uprising against the Chinese government in 1959, more than 100,000 Tibetans have been living in exile in India, Nepal, Bhutan and other countries around the world. The Dalai Lama lives in exile in India.
Source: Taipei Times