FAPA Expresses Support For Taiwan Protests
The Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) – a Taiwanese-American grassroots organization based in Washington DC – today expressed its support for the recent mass protests in Taiwan organized by civic organizations against the heavy-handed policies of the Ma administration.
FAPA believes that freedom and democracy are served by open and transparent policies, and that the recent actions and decisions by the government of President Ma Ying-jeou are detrimental to Taiwan’s future as a free and democratic nation.
The main issues prompting the protests in Taiwan were, amongst others:
1. The death of conscript Hung Chung-chiu on July 4th 2013 while undergoing excessive disciplinary measures in military detention. Anger about the handling of the case by the Kuomintang and military authorities brought out some 30,000 people on July 20th and more than 200,000 people on August 3rd.
2. The signing of the Services Trade Agreement with China on June 21st 2013. The lack of transparency and the pressure by the Kuomintang government on the Legislative Yuan to pass the agreement without much discussion led to a series of protests on Taipei. This eventually prompted the legislature to suspend its review of the agreement on August 1st 2013.
3. The plans by the Kuomintang government to push through completion of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant at Kungliao. This is a long-simmering issue that already prompted major demonstrations in March 2013. Recently, the Ma administration had proposed a “referendum”, which – because of the tricky nature of Taiwan’s referendum Law – would have signaled “approval” of completion of the plant. These referendum proposals also became the topic of large-scale demonstrations.
4. Forced demolition of homes in Taipei and Miaoli. In the Wenlin Yuan urban renewal project in Taipei’s Shilin District confrontations took place between police and owners of the homes and their supporters. Also in Taipei, a series of confrontations took place in the past month over the demolition of the Huaguang Community. And in the Dapu Borough of Miaoli four homes were demolished on July 18th to make way for a controversial extension of a science park. The heavy-handed measures by police and authorities in all these cases cumulated in anger by the general public.
FAPA expresses its deep concern about the erosion of democracy and freedom under the government of Ma Ying-jeou, and urges the Kuomintang government to listen to the voice of the people. It is no coincidence that the protesters adapted the theme song “Do You Hear the People Sing?” From Les Miserables as their theme song.
FAPA will relay the concerns expressed at the protests in Taiwan to the US Congress and US Government, so they will be aware of these developments and pursue policies in support of a truly free and democratic Taiwan.