Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen presides over the Taiwan International Religious Freedom Forum held from May 30 to June 1, 2019 in Taiwan. Photo: DIIR/CTA

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Dharamshala, India — The spiritual leader of Tibet, His Holiness the Dalai Lama hailed Taiwan’s robust democracy in which, he observed, “the law protects and defends human rights.”

In a message to the Taiwan International Religious Freedom Forum held last week in Taiwan, His Holiness said, “Religious freedom is a basic human right. Human rights are something we all share, because all of us want to be happy and we are all entitled to be happy. I am happy to observe that in a robust democracy like Taiwan, the law protects and defends human rights.”

The Nobel Peace Laureate was invited to speak at the Religious Freedom Forum which was presided by President of Taiwan Dr Tsai Ing-wen and attended by over 187 participants from 10 countries including Representatives of Office of Tibet in Washington DC and Taiwan.

A champion of religious freedom and harmony His Holiness the Dalai Lama asserted that every individual has the freedom to practise or not practise religion as they see fit.

“However what I feel is important is that once you accept religion, you should be able to focus your mind on it and put whatever teachings you follow sincerely into practice in your daily life.”

His Holiness hoped the Religious Forum will contribute to the quality of understanding and respect for each other as human beings based on compassion and love and usher a happier, more peaceful world for all sentient beings now and in the future.

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