11 Nov 2008

[Support]The Declaration of Taiwan Friends of Tibet for Supporting the Wild Berries Movement

November, 10th, 2008

With regard to the statement of “Wild Berries” action (野草莓運動) and the continuing sit-in protest which current college students originated, Taiwan Friends of Tibet (台灣圖博之友會) expresses our honor and support. We believe that the civic literacy showed by these young college students has already established a new representative of their generation after the Martial Law era.

When Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Chairman Chen Yun-lin (陳雲林) visited Taiwan on November 3rd to 7th, 2008, the Taiwan government led by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) blocked the expression of different opinions by the Taiwanese people and dispersed Taiwanese people out of public zones near the visiting ARATS delegation via forceful police power and violent illegal actions. Those actions seriously destroyed the civil rights protected by the Taiwan Constitution (the Constitution of the Republic of China). In addition, during this event, the Tibetans in Taiwan and the Taiwanese people who supported Tibet Independence were improperly suppressed. Particularly, part of the media emphasized transmitting “warm” scenes of Taiwan government officials visiting injured Taiwan police officers. Unavoidably, this one-sided conveyance evoked images of how the media, controlled or manipulated by the China government, reported the Tibet event of March, 14th, 2008.

At the end of November, the Congress of the government of Tibet in exile (圖博流亡國會) will convene an enlarged conference and enable Tibetans to publicly determine future policies of Tibet. We worry that when Tibetans are still able to establish democracy in exile, Taiwanese people in thriving Taiwan confront the regression of Taiwan’s democracy. Therefore, we advocate that people of all walks of life intently focus not on how the event concerning the oppression of civil rights will only be interpreted by the dichotomy of KMT(blue party,國民黨) and DPP(green party,民進黨), but whether this event will make Taiwan return to authoritarian regime. If the Taiwanese people give the Taiwan government authority to limit the rights to freedom of speech to only specific issues or persons, the democracy in Taiwan will be placed in jeopardy. In particular, this important issue concerning the civil rights involves the fate of the whole of Taiwan. Hence, the Taiwanese people should have sufficient space for expressing their concerns. Moreover, at this very moment, to protest against and restrain the Taiwan government’s unconstitutional act is the Taiwanese people’s right and even, duty.

As regards the three appeals in the “Wild Berries” action statement on November 8th, 2008, Taiwan Friends of Tibet completely support them. It has been obviously illegal for the Taiwan government to excessively restrict the civil right of freedom of speech and the government should not shift its responsibility onto others with any excuse. As a result, Taiwan Friends of Tibet considers that two of these appeals as follow are the minimum of claims: (1) President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) must publicly apologize to all citizens, and (2) National Police Agency Director-General Wang Cho-chiun (王卓鈞) and National Security Bureau Director Tsai Chao-ming (蔡朝明) must step down. Furthermore, our association even more strongly supports the third appeal, amending the Assembly and Parade Law (集會遊行法) in Taiwan. We believe that to assemble and parade is Taiwanese people’s fundamental right and a significant mechanism of democracy. However, current Assembly and Parade Law may give administrative organizations too much power to determine and control, so Taiwan Friends of Tibet stands for amending it as soon as possible.

Ultimately, Taiwan Friends of Tibet strongly requests that the Control Yuan (監察院) and other justice units in Taiwan, according to their authorities and the trust and anticipation of the Taiwanese people, actively investigate cases relevant to illegal actions of administrative organizations and the political responsibilities and liabilities of related government officials.

Translated by Shuo-I Hsu from the original statement posted in http://action1106.blogspot.com/2008/11/blog-post_10.html

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