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Democracy regressing

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“Well, look at Taiwan, look at [South] Korea, different places,” US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said recently. (“PRC stalling on human rights: House speaker,” June 7, page 1). While Taiwanese joined others in discussing the slow progress of human rights in China on the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protest, how many of us noticed that democracy in Taiwan is moving backwards?

Why were the parents of a Tamkang University student warned by police after their child attended the protest held by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on May 17? Why was a student arrested and investigated by the police just for shouting “Ma Ying-jeou step down!” at a Taiwan High Speed Rail station in March? Why was Sunrise Records shut down by police because they were playing patriotic Taiwanese music when Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait Chairman Chen Yunlin visited Taipei last year?

I can’t believe all these incidents happened in a so-called democratic country. Living in Taiwan in the 21st century, we are supposed to have the basic human right of freedom of speech. Martial Law was lifted in 1987 by former President Chiang Ching-kuo, but maybe Ma forgot about that. Otherwise, why was I warned by an unfriendly policeman with fierce eyes and a pointing finger for having a yellow ribbon with the words “Taiwan is my country” tied to my car?

SALLY WU

Taipei City

Source: Taipei Times - Letters, 2009/06/29



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Newsflash

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) missed a court date for a corruption case yesterday due to an angina attack, but he was said to be in stable condition after treatment.

The 89-year-old was to attend preliminary proceedings at 9:30am at Taipei District Court for a case in which he is accused of embezzling US$7.8 million from secret diplomatic funds. However, he suffered chest pains at 5am and canceled his appearance.