Dharamshala: Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay, the democratically elected political leader of the Tibetan people, today condoled the demise of former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui. As the island’s first democratically elected president, Mr Lee hosted His Holiness the Dalai Lama for the first time to Taiwan in 1997. He died aged 97.
In his condolence message, Sikyong said, “On behalf of the Central Tibetan Administration and the Tibetan people, I offer our deepest condolences on the passing of former President of Taiwan, Mr Lee Teng-hui. His demise is grieved not only by the people of Taiwan but Tibetans all over the world.”
“Mr Lee Teng-hui was the first president of Taiwan to host His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Taiwan. It was also during that meeting that His Holiness met with then-Vice President Lien Chan, and for the first time, introduced the CTA’s Middle Way Approach to people of Taiwan. The historic meeting between Mr Lee and His Holiness forged a new chapter of friendship and solidarity between the two peoples,” Sikyong said.
“A visionary and a Cornell economist, Mr Lee was also known as the ‘Mr Democracy’ for his instrumental role in Taiwan’s democratization. He presided over unprecedented democratic reforms, including the first direct presidential election of 1996, which he won by landslide. With his courage and foresight, Mr Lee steadfastly championed the cause of Taiwan nation and steered Taiwan through the historic transition from martial law to a full-fledged democracy. History will always remember him as the founding father of Asia’s most dynamic and vibrant democracy. “
He concluded, saying, “His legacy will continue to inspire us. Once again I send my most heartfelt condolences to his family.”