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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Ma’s words undermine sovereignty

Taiwan’s status is unique and unprecedented. Not only is it independent, it is generally accepted that, legally speaking, there is no need for it to declare independence.

That said, even though the reasons Taiwan has no need to declare independence appear similar on the surface, there are major differences in terms of their implications.


Academic spirit and national identity

The most important thing about a university is its spirit.

Human civilization began with intellectuals and literati exploring the meaning of life. Their efforts opened new possibilities and led to social progress and the development of humanity’s relationship with nature. The spirit of universities is based on independence and freedom.


Transitional justice must be public

In contrast with classical notions of justice, transitional justice is a relatively new concept. Its purpose is to define and punish the illegal actions of a previous government and to provide justice for victims following the transfer of political power to a new administration that holds radically different — sometimes even diametrically opposed — beliefs.


Steady decline of military morale

The Ching Chuan Kang Air Base scandal involving personnel testing positive for Category 1 drugs is yet another blow to the armed forces’ morale. Premier Lin Chuan’s (林全) team is being called the “drugs Cabinet,” for which Minister of National Defense Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬) apologized, and one major general has been disciplined for his culpability in the case. Military leaders are scrambling to contain the conflagration, but the fallout continues to damage the armed forces’ image.


Chiang hall should remain empty

The final point of transitional justice is the question of how to repurpose the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei once Chiang Kai-shek’s (蔣介石) statue is removed. It has been suggested that the space dedicated to the worship of a dictator could provide the grounds for a new Legislative Yuan building — a symbol of democracy. In other words, destroying the building would do away with the problem of how to repurpose it, as it would cover Chiang with a new Legislative Yuan.


US must aid Taiwan’s WHO entry

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) this week confirmed Taiwan’s first human fatality from the H7N9 avian flu virus. Earlier, a Chiayi poultry farm and a turkey farm in Tainan tested positive for a highly pathogenic avian flu virus strain. Poultry farms in Hualien and Yilan counties were confirmed to have infected birds as well.

The world is fortunate that Taiwan has superb animal health and infectious disease control talent, data collection, quarantine and treatment facilities. Taiwan remains far superior to China in disease control in general and the containment of avian flu in particular.

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Presidential Office Spokesman Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) yesterday said he would pen a protest letter to Freedom House over its latest report alleging he meddled with news content while at the state-owned Central News Agency (CNA).

The Washington-based political and human rights watchdog this week released a full version of Freedom in the World 2010 that included individual country reports.