Taiwan officials have asked the Dalai Lama to cancel public speeches and media events on the island under pressure from an angry China, which fears he will talk politics, a Tibetan legislator said on Wednesday.
Taiwan, a self-ruled island claimed by Beijing, has been working with China since mid-2009 to ease 60 years of hostilities by establishing trade and transit links.
The visiting Tibetan spiritual leader, reviled by China as a separatist, was asked to cancel a news conference, a public speech for 10,000 people, interview requests and abandon any hopes of meeting Taiwan's top leaders, said Khedroob Thondup, a Taipei-based parliamentarian in-exile close to the Dalai Lama.
The Dalai Lama, in Taiwan to comfort victims of a typhoon that killed up to 745 people last month, has avoided political comments during public prayers and meetings with local officials in the southern city of Kaohsiung.
"Beijing leaders are worried about His Holiness making any speaking engagements," Thondup told Reuters. "The Taiwan government has gone out of its way to listen.
"But this is not Communist Taiwan, it's democratic Taiwan," he said. The Dalai Lama would avoid "embarrassing" the host, Thondup said.
China had not asked Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou to make the Dalai Lama restrict his events, presidential spokesman Tony Wang said.
"The Dalai Lama's itinerary is entirely his own decision, and the presidential office respects his decision," Wang said.
Last Mod: 02 Eylül 2009, 12:52