By Tenzin Monlam
Tashi Tsering, Chairperson of Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan along with Taiwanese delegates and Thupten Samphel, Director of Tibet Policy Institute on September 7, 2017
DHARAMSHALA, September 7: Describing Taiwan’s struggle for freedom and democracy as long and hard-fought, a member of Taiwanese delegation to Dharamshala said that ‘democracy and freedom did not come overnight’ and was ‘the result of lots of struggles and sacrifices’.
Organized by Tibet Policy Institute, the think tank of the Tibetan exile government, the four-member delegation spoke on the ‘Democratization and Social Movement in Taiwan’.
Wu Jiazhen, Vice Chair, Taiwan Association for Human Rights said, “Even though Taiwan has democracy and freedom. We do not have a clear identity or central belief of serving the people, freedom and democracy. Therefore, we can see there are many confused identities claiming to be both Chinese and Taiwanese, which is not possible.”
She further added, “So sometimes I envy you (Tibetans). You have a strong belief and sense of identity, which is the foundation on which you can develop your democracy.”
The delegation was led by Tashi Tsering, Chairperson of Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan, along with Liu Ying-Chun, Legislative Assistant of Legislator Yu Mei-Nu and Lin Hsinyi, Executive Director, Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty.
Liu Ying-Chun was here representing Legislator Yu Mei-Nu, a long time supporter of Tibet’s struggle. Concurring with Wu’s statement of ‘Taiwan’s democracy being achieved with great struggle’, she described the democracy in Taiwan as ‘priceless’.
“Since we enjoy democracy, we the people of Taiwan sympathize with those countries such as China and Tibet, who do not enjoy human rights and freedom,” said Liu.
She hopes that the Taiwan’s Parliament would soon pass a law to protect the human rights of Tibetans living in Taiwan.
Earlier in the day, the delegation called on His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Lin Hsinyi citing the Tibetan spiritual leader said that the Dalai Lama advised us to not just concentrate on Tibet and Taiwan’s issue but also on human rights issues globally.
“We have also met with numerous dignitaries of Tibetan government in exile and gathered many suggestions and opinions. We will take these suggestions back with us and we hope we can form a bridge between the Tibetans and Taiwanese,” Lin said adding that it would be an opportunity even with China to develop a better understanding.