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.

台灣人公共事務會表態支持台灣抗議行動

台灣人公共事務會於今日表態,支持台灣民間團體近來抗議馬政府強硬措施的大規模行動。

台灣人公共事務會相信自由及民主必須建基於開放且透明的政策,而馬英九總統最近的決策,對於台灣自由民主的未來會造成傷害。

促使這一波大規模抗爭的原因有:

一、陸軍義務役下士洪仲丘,於陸軍禁閉室中遭過度操練凌虐致死案。國軍及馬政府對於此事件的處理方式引起民怨,多達三萬人於7月20日上街抗議,更有超過二十萬人於8月3日加凱道遊行。

二、馬政府於於6月21日逕自與中國簽署「兩岸服務貿易協議」。簽署過程的不透明,以及國民黨施壓立法院盡速通過此協議的動作,導致台北街頭一系列的抗議行動,並迫使立法院決定延後審議「服貿協議」。

三、國民黨政府強行通過貢寮核四續建案,導致今年3月份的大規模抗議行動。近來,馬政府提出核四公投案,但因台灣公投法的特性,使得此公投結果將成為「同意」核四續建。此公投提案也成為抗議行動的議題之一。

四、政府強行拆除台北市及苗栗縣民人住宅。台北市汐止區文林苑都更案中,住戶及支持者與警方爆發衝突;同樣在台北市,過去一個月中,華光社區拆除案同樣爆發了一系列的衝突。在苗栗縣大埔鄉,四戶住家於7月18日中遭到強制拆除。上述案件中政府的強勢作為都引起了人民的怒氣。

台灣人公共事務會對於台灣在馬政府領導之下,漸漸失去的自由與民主表示憂心,並呼籲國民黨政府傾聽人民的聲音。抗議民眾以「悲慘世界」曲目所改編的「你敢有聽著咱的歌」正是人民的心聲。

台灣人公共事務會會將抗議行動的訴求轉達給美國政府及國會,使他們可以制定政策,協助台灣成為自由民主的國家。

(August 6, 2013) FAPA Expresses Support For Taiwan Protests / 台灣人公共事務會表態支持台灣抗議行動