For Immediate Release
Washington DC – September 17, 2009
Contact: (202) 547-3686
FAPA Thanks His Holiness For Comforting Typhoon Victims
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
c/o Tenzin Taklha, Joint Secretary
Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama
P.O. McLeod Ganj – 176219
Dharamshala, H.P. INDIA
As the president of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA – www.fapa.org), a world-wide organization that promotes freedom, human rights and self-determination for the people of Taiwan, I write today to express my gratitude to you for having traveled to Taiwan during the aftermath of the typhoon that struck Taiwan during the second week of August. We deeply appreciate your efforts to help alleviate the pain of all victims of the typhoon, and of the inhabitants of the mountain village of Shiao Lin in particular.
Typhoon Morakot lingered over southern Taiwan for several days wreaking havoc and unloading torrential rains causing massive landslides. The never-ending downpour turned streams into rivers destroying everything in its path. Whole villages were inundated. Over 600 people were killed.
Even today, the total scope of the damage brought about by the typhoon and the exact number of victims are still unclear.
But through all the death, devastation and damage, the people of southern Taiwan are gradually seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, partly brought about by your memorable visit to southern Taiwan.
By traveling to Taiwan, you personally illustrated, as you stated in your address to members of the European Parliament on June 15, 1988, your belief that: “One nation’s problems can no longer be solved by itself. Without a sense of universal responsibility, our very survival is in danger.”
In that spirit of solidarity, and in the spirit of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson who stated that “Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together,” I thank you again for your ongoing commitment to Taiwan and to Taiwan’s democracy.
Let me close by affirming our camaraderie, as freedom and independence-loving Taiwanese Americans, with the people of Tibet struggling to achieve freedom, dignity, and respect for their identity and culture. I hope I will be able to thank you in person the next time you visit the United States.
Bob Yang, Ph.D.,
President Formosan Association for Public Affairs