Overseas Taiwanese Organizations Express Concern About Backsliding Of Democracy In Taiwan

Today, a coalition of overseas Taiwanese organizations issued a joint statement, expressing concern about the erosion of democracy and freedoms in Taiwan due to the pro-China policies of the current Kuomintang administration of President Ma Ying-jeou in Taiwan.

The statement is endorsed by 49 overseas Taiwanese organizations in the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America and Japan.  The organizations emphasize that their roots are in Taiwan, “the land of our birth”, and that they feel strongly about Taiwan, as many of them “…worked hard to help Taiwan make the transition to democracy in the 1980s and 1990s. “

The organizations state that the pro-China policies the current administration of President Ma Ying-jeou “…may on the surface 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.”

The organizations also state that they “…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.”

The organizations state that the recent actions of President Ma and his administration in attempting to remove Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng clearly violate the basic principles enshrined in the current (ROC) Constitution in Taiwan.

The organizations add that 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.

The organizations urge President Ma 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.”

They conclude with three specific recommendations:

  1. An end to the extraordinary powers vested in the Special Investigation Division of the Chief Prosecutor’s Office.  The Legislative Yuan should immediately pass legislation abolishing the SID,
  2. Taiwan needs judicial reform, completely removing political influence from the judiciary.  The judicial branch needs to be completely independent from both the executive and legislative branch of government, so Taiwan can enjoy clear separation of powers, and
  3. Taiwan needs legislative reform so that legislators can truly represent their constituencies, and the legislature becomes an effective and efficient part of the system of governance.  The legislative process needs to become a true give-and-take of political negotiations; all political opinions are shown respect and decisions are made on the basis of rational discussion.

 

海外台灣人團體表達對台灣民主倒退的憂心

49個海外台灣人團體於今天發表聯合聲明,表達其對馬政府傾中政策所造成台灣的民主及自由倒退的憂心。

簽署此聲明的四十九個團體遍佈於美國、加拿大、歐洲、拉丁美洲,以及日本。這份聲明強調海外台灣人的根在「我們所生長的土地」台灣,並重申對台灣仍有強烈的感情,因為「我們之中許多人於八與九年代,均曾為台灣的民主的進程努力過」

此份聲明中並指出,馬政府的傾中政策「雖然表面上這些政策有助於緩和緊張的兩岸情勢,但實際上在中方高壓的統一方針與台灣民主現實交鋒之下,僅會促成更激烈的衝突。」

聲明中並針對「馬政府不尊重民主社會,行政立法司法權的分立,與制衡等等民主政治基本原則」表示憤怒。

聲明中特別提到近日馬政權企圖逼退立法院長王金平的舉動,已經明顯地違反了台灣政府(中華民國)憲法中所訂立的基礎原則。聲明中並強調隸屬於最高法院檢察署的特偵組的濫權訴訟及違法監聽等行為也違反了憲法第十二條:人民有秘密通訊自由。

該聲明呼籲馬總統傾聽台灣人民的聲音「並且應進一步制定政策反映街頭上一般人民的觀感。」

聲明中所結論的三項建議為:

  1. 終止最高法院檢察署特偵組所用有的非常權力,立法院應立即立法廢除特偵組。
  2. 台灣需要進行司法改革,以杜絕政治對司法的影響。司法機關須獨立於行政與立法機關之外,唯有如此台灣才能真正享有三權分立。
  3. 台灣的立法部門需要進行改革,以真切的反映民意,並成為效率及效用兼具之政府的一環。立法程序必須是一套真正能彼此互惠的政治體制。

Overseas Taiwanese organizations concerned about backsliding of democracy in Taiwan

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:

4. An end to the extraordinary powers vested in the Special Investigation Division of the Chief Prosecutor’s Office.  The Legislative Yuan  should immediately pass legislation abolishing the SID,
5. Taiwan needs judicial reform, completely removing political influence from the judiciary.  The judicial branch needs to be completely independent from both the executive and legislative branch of government, so Taiwan can enjoy clear separation of powers, and
6. Taiwan needs legislative reform so that legislators can truly represent their constituencies, and the legislature becomes an effective and efficient part of the system of governance.  The legislative process needs to become a true give-and-take of political negotiations; all political opinions are shown respect and decisions are made on the basis of rational discussion.

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.

Signatories:

United States

1. Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA)

2. Chen Wen-chen Memorial Foundation (CWCMF)

3. Formosan Association for Human Rights (FAHR)

4. Friends of Taiwan – Los Angeles, California

5. Institute for Taiwanese Studies (ITS) – Cerritos, California

6. North American Taiwanese Engineering and Science Association (NATEA)

7. North American Taiwanese Professors’ Association

8. North American Taiwanese Women’s Association

9. Southern California Taiwanese Club – Los Angeles, California

10. Taiwanese American Center of Northern California

11. Taiwanese Association of America (TAA)

12. Taiwanese Association of America, Chicago Chapter

13. Taiwanese Association of America, Cincinnati Chapter

14. Taiwanese Association of America, Columbus Chapter

15. Taiwanese Association of America, Greater Baltimore Chapter

16. Taiwanese Association of America, Greater Washington Chapter

17. Taiwanese Association of America, Northern New Jersey Chapter

18. Taiwanese Alliance of Interculture (TAI) – San Jose, California

19. Taiwanese Americans Perspectives (TAP) – Los Angeles, California

20. Taiwan Christian Church Council in North America (TCCCNA)

21. Taiwan Center – New York

22. Taiwan Culture Center – Greater Washington

23. Taiwan Hakka Association For Public Affairs In North America

24. World United Formosans for Independence United States

25. World Taiwanese Congress

Canada

26. Formosan Association for Public Affairs Canada

27. Greater Vancouver Taiwanese Senior Association

28. Society  of Taiwanese Canadian History in British Columbia

29. Taiwanese Canadian Association

30. Taiwanese Canadian Association – Greater Vancouver Chapter

31. Taiwanese Canadian Association –Toronto Chapter

32. Taiwanese Canadian Church Association of Toronto

33. Taiwanese Canadian Heritage Association

34. Taiwanese Human Rights Association of Canada (THRAC)

35. Taiwanese Senior Association of Toronto

36. Taiwanese Women’s Association of Toronto

37. World Federation of Taiwanese Associations (WFTA)

38. World United Formosans for Independence Canada

Latin America

39. Taiwanese Association of Ecuador

Europe

40. European Federation of Taiwanese Associations — London, United Kingdom

41. European Federation of Taiwanese Women Associations, Hamburg, Germany

42. Formosan Association for Public Affairs United Kingdom

43. Taiwanese Association in the United Kingdom

44. Taiwanese Student Association in the United Kingdom

45. World United Formosans for Independence Europe

Japan

46. Japan Taiwanese Medical Union

47. Taiwanese Association in Japan

48. Taiwanese Women’s Association in Japan

49. World United Formosans for Independence Japan

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海外台灣人組織關切台灣民主的衰退

以下所簽屬的海外台灣人組織在此對台灣近況的發展表達深切的關注。首先,我們希望先強調我們的歷史根源。雖然我們身居加拿大、歐洲、日本、拉丁美洲與美國,但我們對台灣這塊土地仍有懷有強烈的情感。我們之中許多人於八與九年代,均曾為台灣的民主的進程努力過。

台灣在過去二十五年來在邁向一個完全民主的體制上有了重大的進展,而也因此目前馬政府透過親中政策對民主與自由所造成的侵蝕,更特別令人感到遺憾。雖然表面上這些政策有助於緩和兩岸的情勢,但實際上在中方高壓的統一方針與台灣民主現實交鋒之下,僅會促成更激烈的衝突。

雖然此一自由、民主與人權的衰退自馬政府取執政後便連綿不斷,但我們對近些時日,馬政府所採取的行為,對民主社會,及權力分立與制約與平衡等民主政治中的基本原則,所展現出的不尊重,感到憤怒。

這些基本的原則在台灣,是受到目前(中華民國)憲法所保障的。雖然我們相信為了符合台灣作為一個自由民主的獨立國家的現實,修憲是必要的,但政府須遵循目前所施行的憲法仍是不言可的。而馬總統及政府試圖解除立法院長王金平職務的行為,很明顯的觸犯了這些原則。

再者,最高法院檢察署特偵組的濫權以及恣意監聽也透成了違憲,特別是憲法第十二條,即人民有秘密通訊之自由。

馬政府是時候該傾聽台灣人民的聲音了,並且應進一步制定能反映街頭上一般人民觀感的政見與決策,包含:

  1. 終止最高法院檢察署特偵組所用有的非常權力,立法院應立即通過並廢除特偵組。
  2. 台灣需要進行司法改革,以杜政治對司法的影響。司法機關須獨立於行政與立法機關之外,唯有如此台灣才能真正享有權力的分立。
  3. 台灣的立法部門需要進行改革,以真切的反映民意,並成為效率及效用兼具之行政系統的一環。立法程序必須是一套真正能彼此互惠的政治磋商機制,尊重所有政見,並以理性討論的結果做為依歸。

而身為海外台灣人,我們也堅定的支持由二十九位國際學者及專家於十月十四日,以「台灣憲政危機聯合聲明」之名發表於台北時報、自由時報等媒體的聲明。

簽署團體:

美國

1. 台灣人公共事務會

2. 陳文成教授基金會

3. 全美台灣人權協會

4. 台灣之友會

5. 全美台灣研究院

6. 北美台灣工程師協會

7. 北美洲台灣人教授協會

8. 北美洲台灣婦女協會

9. 南加卅台灣會舘

10. 北加州台灣會館

11.全美台灣同

12.芝加哥台灣同

13.辛辛那提台灣同

14.哥倫布台灣同

15.巴爾地摩台灣同

16.大華府台灣同

17.北澤西台灣同

18.台灣協志會

19. Taiwanese Americans Perspectives

20.北美台灣人教會協會

21.紐約台灣會館

22.華府台灣文化中心

23. 北美臺灣客家公共事務協會

24.台灣獨立建國聯盟美國本部

25. 世界台灣人大會

加拿大

26. 加拿大台灣人公共事務會

27.松齢會

28. BC台裔歷史協會

29.加拿大台灣同

30.加拿大台灣同大溫哥華

31.加拿大台灣同多倫多

32.多倫多台灣基督教教會協會

33.裔協會

34. 加拿大台灣人權協會

35. 多倫多台灣青籐會

36.多倫多台灣婦女會

37.世界台灣同會聯合會

38.台灣獨立建國聯盟加拿大本部

歐洲

39.歐洲台灣協會

40.歐洲台灣婦女會

41.台灣人公共事務會英國

42.英國台灣協會

43. 英國台灣同學會

44.台灣獨立建國聯盟歐洲本部

日本

45. 日本台湾医師連合

46. 台湾同郷会

47. 在日台湾婦女会

48. 台灣獨立建國聯盟日本本部

拉丁美洲

49. 厄瓜多爾台灣同

(November 8, 2013) Overseas Taiwanese Organizations Express Concern About Backsliding Of Democracy In Taiwan