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Typhoon-affected Taiwanese protest Dalai Lama's visit(08/31/09)

KAOHSIUNG, Taiwan, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- "No Dalai Lama -- Only food and beds wanted" and "(He) only talks -- no fund-raising", said banners Monday displayed by Taiwan's ethnic groups' typhoon-hit victims outside the hotel where the Dalai Lama was staying in Kaohsiung City.

Dozens of typhoon victims from Pingtung County, who arrived in Kaohsiung on early Monday morning, waved banners and shouted to show their disapproval of the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP's) invitation to the Dalai Lama to visit the island.

"We have so much relief and reconstruction work to finish, and what we care about most are food, accommodation and employment. We need sincere and constant help," said a protester surnamed Yu.

"It's not suitable to invite the Dalai Lama to visit Taiwan. Peoples' attention has been diverted from the victims and relief work to his visit," Yu said.

Kuomintang Vice President Wu Den-yih said the DPP should not disrupt relations between the mainland and Taiwan.

"It's a DPP political plot to invite the Dalai Lama, and is easily seen through by the public," Wu said.

Taiwan's United Daily News has also denounced Kaohsiung mayor as "a selfish person who burned a bridge after crossing it". The mayor visited the mainland in May and won support of the mainland for a sports game. Now it invited the Dalai Lama to visit Taiwan, a move seen by many that will impair relations between the mainland and Taiwan.

Last Saturday, more than 10 Taiwanese political organizations condemned DPP's invitation to the Dalai Lama as "unethical" and "politically motivated," as approximately 100 members from the Labor Rights Association, the Labor Party and other organizations staged a protest outside the headquarters of the DPP in Taipei.



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