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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

KMT moves to reverse Taiwan democracy

President Ma Ying-jeou and his right-wing Chinese Nationalist Party wrote a new dishonorable page in Taiwan history by ramming a bill through the Legislative Yuan that tramples on the one of the most fundamental of democratic principles, namely the right of citizens to vote and be elected to office for fixed terms.

In a legislative session featuring incessant shoving and occasional slugging, the KMT used its nearly three-fourths majority to ram through revisions to the Local Government Act over intense resistance by the opposition Democratic Progressive Party that will allow the KMT to retain its grip over grassroots administration regardless of who wins year-end mayoral elections for five special metropolises.

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Scholar says new probe of Lin family murders is a continuing cover-up

Wu Nai-teh, a research scholar at Academia Sinica, has denounced the Taiwan High Prosecutor's office for an incomplete investigation in to the 1980 murder of the family of democracy activist Lin Yi-hsiung.

Lin, a former chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party, was an editor at Formosa Magazine and helped organize a Human Rights Day march in Kaohsiung in December 1979. Provocateurs in the large crowd triggered a police assault against the marchers. In a move to shut down the magazine the Kuomintang government of the Republic of China in-exile brought riot charges against the march organizers and ultimately imposed long prison sentences on eight people.

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Drop presidential tour to help Haiti, Taiwan

President Ma Ying-jeou should reconsider plans to participate in a controversial presidential inaugural in Honduras and make a transit stop in the earthquake devastated Caribbean nation of Haiti for the sake of both humanitarian assistance and Taiwan's global image.

The Office of the President announced Friday that Ma, who is scheduled to embark next Monday to participate in the controversial inaugural ceremony of Honduran president - elect Porphyra Lobo of the conservative National Party of Honduras (PNH), hopes to make a short stop in Haiti or the neighboring Dominican Republic during the return leg of his six-day excursion.

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Gilley’s ‘Finlandization’ is wrong

The relations between Taiwan, the US and China have given rise to many an academic analysis. This is understandable and even laudable: The network of relations is complex and is open to various interpretations and insights. Many past treatises have made valuable contributions to the understanding of developments between the three countries.

However, once every so often an academic publishes an analysis that is so far removed from reality that it would be dismissed out of hand for its lack of understanding and its outright naivite. Bruce Gilley’s article, titled “Not So Dire Straits” — published in the latest edition of Foreign Affairs (January/February 2010) — is such a work.

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Wickedness in the guise of policy

The administration of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has drawn criticism from all sides for its handling of the US beef issue, failing to please either the American or the Taiwanese public. This, however, has not compelled the government to change its ways. Ma’s team is still determined to sign an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with China without public consultation.

Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) has announced that the government will start preliminary talks with China on the issue this month and hopes to have the ECFA signed in May. He said the government would decide on further easing of restrictions on investment in China by Taiwanese businesses toward the end of this month.

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Haiti’s tragedy and Taiwan

The world’s most severe earthquakes of recent memory are notable for taking place in states that are politically stable — or at least those that have a working infrastructure. The Sichuan Earthquake in China, the Kashmir disaster of 2005, the Bam quake in Iran in late 2003 — all took place in regions that were remote and/or poverty-stricken, but there was at least some hope of response by central officials. International assistance, where it was welcomed, had to be moderated to some extent by sovereign considerations.

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Newsflash

While thousands celebrated New Year’s Eve by going to rock concerts or watching the sunrise on the east coast, more than 200 people — mostly students — chose to attend a rally in Liberty Square in Taipei last night vowing to continue their anti-media monopoly campaign this year.

Aside from the protesters, Taiwan Solidarity Union Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝), Democratic Progressive Party caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), Taiwan independence advocate and historian Su Beng (史明), and National Taiwan University professors Flora Chang (張錦華) and Lin Huo-wang (林火旺) were also present.