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FAPA 2013 Congressional Workshop in Washington DC
YEAR 2013 FAPA Board of Directors-at-large elections
Overseas Taiwanese organizations express concern about backsliding of democracy in Taiwan
(Washington, D.C. – November 8th 2013) -- The undersigned overseas Taiwanese organizations hereby express our deep concern about recent developments in Taiwan. First, we wish to emphasize our roots in Taiwan, the land of our birth. We do live in Canada, Europe, Japan, Latin America and the United States, but we feel strongly about our homeland. Many of us worked hard to help Taiwan make the transition to democracy in the 1980s and 1990s.
Especially since Taiwan made such major progress towards a fully democratic system during the past 25 years, it is regrettable that the current administration of President Ma Ying-jeou has eroded Taiwan’s democracy and freedoms with his pro-China policies. On the surface these policies may appear to bring about a reduction of tension, but in reality they are setting Taiwan up for a larger conflict when China’s repressive designs for “unification” collide with the reality of Taiwan’s democracy.
While this backsliding of freedom, democracy and human rights has been going on since the beginning of the Ma administration, we are particularly incensed about recent moves by the Ma government that show a distinct lack of respect for democracy, and a fundamental breach of the basic principles of separation of powers and checks and balances in a democracy.
These basic principles are enshrined in the current (ROC) Constitution in Taiwan. While we strongly believe that the Constitution needs to be amended to reflect the new reality that Taiwan is now a free, democratic and independent country, it is essential that the government abides by the Constitution that is presently in force. The actions of President Ma and his administration in attempting to remove Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng clearly violated those principles.
In addition, the extensive abuse of power and the rampant wiretapping by the Special Investigation Division of the Chief Prosecutor’s Office also constitute a violation of the Constitution, in particular Article 12, which guarantees the individual’s freedom of privacy of correspondence.
It is time for the Ma government to listen to the Taiwanese people, and to move towards policies and decisions that reflect the views of ordinary people, the men and women in the street. In particular this means:
As overseas Taiwanese we also fully endorse the joint statement issued by the 29 international scholars and writers, who expressed their concerns in a statement titled "Human rights, democracy threatened", published in the Taipei Times on October 14th 2013 and in Hanji in the Liberty Times on October 16th 2014.
1. Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA)
26. Formosan Association for Public Affairs Canada
39. Taiwanese Association of Ecuador
40. European Federation of Taiwanese Associations -- London, United Kingdom
46. Japan Taiwanese Medical Union