(TibetanReview.net, Mar22, 2015) – A delegation of religious representatives from 15 Taiwanese organizations called on Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, at his residence on Mar 16 to present a joint invitation to him to visit their country, reported Taiwan’s CNA news agency. However, when asked whether the Dalai Lama would be issued a visa, the country’s Premier Mao Chi-kuo appeared to be non-committal, possibly even disinclined.
Answering a question from Tsai Huang-liang, a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator, during question answer session in the Legislative Yuan in Taipei on Mar 17, Mao had said he would take into account the “nation’s benefits as a whole” when taking decision.
“The government would handle the case based on the principle of making sure [the visit] is in line with the benefits of Taiwanese, and handle it according to due regulations at a time and in a way that is acceptable to both parties,” he was quoted as saying. Both parties meant Taiwan and the applicant, he has explained.
On his part, the Dalai Lama, who will turn 80 this year, has said he would be “extremely happy” to make a visit to meet his longtime Taiwanese friends. “[The visit] is possible, but I’m not so sure,” he was quoted as saying.
The Dalai Lama first visited Taiwan in 1997, just after it turned democracy. He again visited in 2001 and to pray for the victims of the devastating Typhoon Morakot in 2009. The nationalist Kuomintang government, which allowed the 2009 visit, however, denied him a visa in 2012.