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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

’Tis the season to ‘hurt the feelings’ of the Chinese

Here’s a short bit of good news for freedom of expression, brought to you by the City of Kaohsiung: Organizer Liu Hsiu-ying of the Kaohsiung Film Festival (KFF) announced yesterday that the festival, which will be held from Oct. 16 through Oct. 29, would screen Ten Conditions of Love, the documentary about World Uighur Congress leader Rebiya Kadeer. Fresh in memory is Beijing’s childish fit over the Melbourne Film Festival’s decision to present the documentary in early August, which resulted in cyber attacks against the festival’s Web site, the removal of Chinese-made films (including a co-production with Taiwan) and Chinese officials bullying of Australian government officials.

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September, as the World Turns in Taiwan: a New and Final Name for Ma Ying-jeou?

Throughout history, it is common for leaders to pick up names and nicknames that speak to various qualities they possess. Most everyone can remember the stories of Richard the Lion-hearted of England as well as Erik the Red of Viking lore. Lesser known may be Charles the Bold of Burgundy who happened to be the son of Philip the Good (now that is a tough name to have to live up to). The lists go on and on and that inevitably leads to the question of how Taiwan's Ma Ying-jeou has gained the name, Ma the Incompetent.

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Dalai Lama rose above the hacks

The Dalai Lama arrived in Taiwan late last Sunday night on his third visit to Taiwan. This visit differed from past visits because the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had worked together to defame him. Pan-blue legislators said his visit was nothing but a political show, while the Chinese-language, pro-unification United Daily News said he was using the bones of those who died in Typhoon Morakot to build a political stage for himself.

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As the World Turns in Taiwan: Yeh Ching-chuan 2009

Typhoon Morakot and the Dalai Lama's subsequent visit were not the only newsworthy items happening recently in Taiwan. In Hualien, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) held its primary and former Department of Health Minister, Yeh Ching-chuan was left as a clear loser. While some jokingly expressed the thought that "it couldn't have happened to a nicer weasel," others pondered what it might be saying politically.

Was it a rejection of Ma, since Yeh was one of his favored sycophant candidates? Were the voters finally developing a sense of picking whom they felt was the best candidate for them and not just accepting what was directed from on high?

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Senator Ted Kennedy: a true friend of Taiwan

The passing of US Senator Ted Kennedy on Aug. 25 brings back many memories of his actions in the late 1970s and early 1980s in support of Taiwan’s democracy.

The senator’s interest in Taiwan was prompted by contact with the Taiwanese-American community in the mid-1970s. His leadership was most prominent after the 1979 Kaohsiung Incident, when the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) authorities arrested virtually all leaders of the democratic opposition. His office often and openly expressed his concerns to the KMT government about the human rights of the detained political leaders.

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Ma Ying-jeou, the Dalai Lama and Taiwan Part III, the Parting Shot

The Dalai Lama's visit is over and much went as according to script. Ma Ying-jeou and the KMT leaders avoided him; the DPP leaders welcomed him, China protested but not too much so that it would not put Ma in a bad spot (they put the blame on the DPP). On the ground, the people in the south were comforted, the Dalai Lama showed them more sympathy and empathy than Ma ever did. Overall the country was glad he came, but as always there were some protesters; in a democracy, you always will have protesters. During the same time period there was even a larger protest against the United State--that protest was about how Taiwan (because of its unresolved status after the 1952 Treaty of San Francisco) still belonged to the USA. But protests aside, there was one other interesting aspect.

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Newsflash

Police detained dozens of activists and petitioners in Beijing and elsewhere in China as US President Barack Obama arrived on his first state visit to the country, friends, family members and a human rights group said yesterday.

International rights groups have urged Obama to raise human rights concerns during a four-day trip to China that began on Sunday night and will include a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤). China frequently conducts crackdowns on dissent ahead of major events, such as last year’s Olympics and this year’s National Day celebrations.