Fri, Nov 21, 2003 - Page 8 News List

Letters:

Hypocrisy in Iruan case

I applaud the Supreme Court for upholding the verdict by the Kaohsiung Branch of the Taiwan High Court regarding the return of Iruan Wu to Brazil ("Court orders Iruan returned to grandmother," Nov. 15, page 1).

Although Iruan seems to have adjusted to living here now, he has been the victim of kidnapping and brainwashing. The child's being whisked away to Taiwan against the wishes of his grandmother Rosa, his legal custodian, was a shameless and inexcusable act.

Even worse has been the government's allowing him to be kept here for so long. In light of the number of businessmen from Taiwan (and in some cases their families as well) who have been kidnapped in China, you would think that kidnapping would be strongly condemned by officials here. But some local officials and media have been very hypocritical in expressing sympathy for a lawless child snatcher.

I can fully understand the desire of Iruan's uncle to take care of the child, but callous abduction was not the way to solve the problem.

Let's hope that Iruan is promptly returned to Brazil and that his family there doesn't let his Taiwanese relatives ever see him again. I hope that the uncle has to pay all the grandmother's legal fees as well.

Case closed.

Greg Wagner

Taipei

Real action on human rights

The public doesn't need to be convinced that workers and workers' rights ought to be respected ("GIO draws away from VCD dispute," Nov. 18, page 1). What the public really needs is legislation to protect people's dignity and labor rights, and enforcement of such legislation. The legislature should enact appropriate laws and the government should more vigorously enforce laws that already exist.

Recently we have seen many flagrant violations of workers' rights in Taiwan, ranging from violence against journalists to the trampling of the rights of the individuals who produced the spoof VCDs.

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) just received a human rights award in New York, but one has to wonder where to find any actual protection of human rights in Taiwan.

Human rights are not just about releasing political prisoners, and talking about human rights is not enough.

Action is needed to see that human rights are protected, and only the government can take appropriate action.

Political leaders must not wait for a public outcry about human rights. They must take responsibility for human rights and be held accountable for their actions.

Chen Ming-chung

Chicago, Illinois

Making freeware an issue

The possibility of Microsoft gobbling up Google ("Keep Google free from Microsoft," Nov 18., page 9) is a very frightening prospect. Bill Gates might be as big a menace as US President George W. Bush.

Amazingly, very few candidates for public office in the US have attacked Microsoft or promoted open-source software.

I made an issue of "freedom-ware" last year when I ran for office in Seattle -- Gates' backyard. The media, predictably, snubbed me.

I'm hoping that in 2004 many candidates across America will make freedomware a campaign issue.

It's about time Gates paid his dues.

I have started a Web site that focuses on freedomware. It's not yet well developed, but you can see where it's headed.

David Blomstrom

United States

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