DPP launches movement over ‘fury’

Staff writer, with CNA

Sat, Dec 15, 2012 - Page 1

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) launched a one-month movement in Taipei yesterday with an aim to express fury over what it perceives as the government’s failure to improve the public’s livelihoods, democracy and politics.

At Longshan Temple (龍山寺) in Taipei, where the first in a series of events titled “Fury (火大)” is to be held today, DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said the movement is meant to show public anger toward the government and to appeal for a “better life, democracy and reforms.”

On May 19, 1986, the DPP’s first chairman, Chiang Peng-chien (江鵬堅), along with political commentator Deng Nan-jung (鄭南榕), came to the temple to demand an end to the martial law imposed on Taiwan since May 19, 1949, which is why the temple was chosen as the site for the rally. They went there at that time with a cause, to strive for improved human rights, freedom and democracy in Taiwan, Su said.

That incident led to the creation of the DPP and encouraged more Taiwanese to come forward for the same cause, Su said at the event, accompanied by DPP Legislator Pasuya Yao (姚文智) and the DPP’s Taipei chapter director Chuang Ruei-hsiung (莊瑞雄), along with 10 city councilors of the DPP.

Elaborating on the movement’s three appeals, Su said the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government has reduced the public to struggling every day by insisting on raising electricity and fuel prices despite the economy worsening during the past four years.

Additionally, there is a need for reform, since the government has flip-flopped on its stances or has fallen back from its promises in areas where change and improvements are needed, Su said.

Moreover, the movement demands democracy, since Taiwan’s media have relapsed into a previous state of restricted freedom and provide incomplete information due to China’s influence, Su said.

Separately, former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) called for greater participation in the DPP’s movement, saying that the KMT government appears to be unable to maintain democratic progress.

According to Tsai, “many studies” have shown that standards of freedom of speech and press freedom in Taiwan have slipped and that the government has been unable to hold back the nation’s looming financial and economic woes, all of which have led to anxiety and confrontation.

She did not elaborate on these studies.