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Dalai Lama: Purpose of Taiwan visit fulfilled

September 3, 2009

Sep 2, 2009

By ANNIE HO Associated Press Writer

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) - The Dalai Lama said Wednesday that his mission to
Taiwan to comfort the victims of Typhoon Morakot was a success.

In an exclusive interview with The Associated Press, the Tibetan spiritual
leader said he was moved to meet survivors of the typhoon when he visited
Shiao Lin, the village where hundreds died in catastrophic mudslides spawned
by the typhoon's torrential rains early last month.

"It's a very sad sort of scenery," he said. "And I met, besides some
officials, some real victims, crying. It's very sad."

"But fact is fact," he added, acknowledging Morakot's devastation. "It's
already happened."

The Dalai Lama spoke during a 90-minute train trip from the southern city of
Kaohsiung to Taipei on the third-day of his five-day visit.

He said despite "the very sad sort of scenery" he had seen at Shaio Lin, he
felt he achieved the primary goal of his mission by bringing comfort to
Morakot's survivors.

"I'm very much satisfied," he said. "I feel the main purpose of this visit

The visit has been roundly condemned by China, which reviles the Dalai Lama
because he has a large international following and has managed to keep
Beijing's heavy-handed rule over Tibet in the spotlight.

But in his comments, the Dalai Lama said he was not perturbed by the Chinese
condemnations, saying he was well used to them.

"It's almost routine now," he said. "Wherever I go in my talks or lectures
in an academic sort of center like a university, sometimes the Chinese
missions protest. That's quite normal."
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