Sun, Jan 16, 2005 - Page 8 News List

No thought control necessary

By Colin Spencer

I was intrigued to see in the Taipei Times the coincidence of two unintentionally related reports, "Underground priest detained" and "Communist told to disband" (Jan. 8, pages 5 and 3).

The first spoke of police on the non-democratic side of the Taiwan Strait arresting a priest belonging to the forbidden Catholic Church organization there. Not in the least unexpected, of course, in a country where the employment of unspeakable methods to control thought, with or without legal process, is normal practice.

The latter report spoke of government officials on the democratic side of the Strait ordering some citizen in Taipei to disband his forbidden self-styled communist organization. Forbidden, that is, by Taiwan's own anti-communist and anti-secessionist laws. This I did not expect to see -- the likes of thought police clamping down on people advocating alternative forms of political thinking. And, what is all this about Taiwanese anti-secession laws? Of course, nothing at all like the version of anti-secession laws that we find so loathsome when proposed by the Beijing government.

I am neither a communist nor a Catholic, but I am happy to freely debate the issues without the intervention of governmental mincemeat machines to protect me from the thoughts of either of them.

Colin Spencer

Taiwan

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