Dalai Lama wraps up Taiwan visit
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, Sept. 4 (CNA) The Dalai Lama left Taiwan Friday after wrapping up a six-day visit to comfort the victims of Typhoon Morakot.
The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader was seen off at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport by a large crowd of his followers and Tibetan expatriates amid cheers and chants of "independence for Tibet." The Dalai Lama did not make a formal speech before his departure, although he did respond to a reporter's question on whether he has any plans to return to Tibet, saying that every Tibetan is always prepared to do so.
The Dalai Lama now lives in exile in Dharamsala, northern India.
The main purpose of his visit to Taiwan -- his third since 1997 -- was to take part in religious activities held in Kaohsiung in the aftermath of Typhoon Morakot at the invitation of the chiefs of seven opposition Democratic Progressive Party-controlled localities in southern Taiwan that were hit hard by the storm.
During his stay, he also conducted a dialogue with Taiwan's Catholic leader, Cardinal Paul K.H. Shan, and held audiences with more than 1,000 Tibetan expatriates and local followers of Tibetan Buddhism.
The non-political nature of his visit was slightly marred, however, by sporadic demonstrations against his visit by a group of pro-unification activists.
(By Y.F. Low) ENDITEM/J
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