More than 10 Taiwanese political organizations Saturday denounced the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP's) invitation to the Dalai Lama to visit the island as "unethical" and "politically motivated."
They also expressed doubts if the visit would benefit ongoing disaster relief in the wake of Typhoon Morakot and voiced their worries the visit would damage relations between Taiwan and the Chinese mainland.
About 100 members from the Alliance for the Reunification of China, the Labor Rights Association, the Labor Party and other organizations staged a protest outside the headquarters of the DPP in Taipei.
Among the placards held by protestors, one read: "Strong opposition to the Dalai Lama's visit to Taiwan." Some shouted: "'Taiwan Independence' plus 'Tibet Independence', damaging to cross-Straits peace."
Seven Taiwan mayors and county chiefs from the DPP Wednesday invited the Dalai Lama to visit the island to join religious activities for victims of typhoon Morakot.
However, a joint declaration issued by the protestors said the DPP's invitation of the Dalai Lama had nothing to do with "humanitarian care" for disaster-stricken Taiwanese.
The DPP had only attempted to take advantage of disaster relief activities and the suffering of residents for its own political interest, said the declaration.
The Dalai Lama has all along been engaged in separatist activities, and has been a questionable figure in regard to humantarian issues, the declaration said. "His visit would undoubtedly cause serious harm to the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations."
Tang Shu, secretary general of the Labor Party, told the crowd that from the very beginning of the typhoon relief in early August, the DPP had been trying to smear the mainland's aid efforts and goodwill.
"Now they are trying to join hands with the 'Tibet Independence' force. Clearly, the DPP's intention is to sabotage hard-earned goodwill in cross-Straits relations," Tang said.
Morakot, the worst typhoon to hit Taiwan in 50 years, has claimed at least 461 lives and left 192 missing and 46 injured, say Taiwan's disaster response authorities.
The protestors urged Taiwanese authorities not to be distracted by the DPP plot and focus instead on reconstruction work.
(Xinhua News Agency August 30, 2009)