Mon, Aug 13, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Presbyterians celebrate declaration anniversary

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan commemorated the 30th anniversary of its human rights declaration yesterday with a large-scale rally in Kaohsiung joined by Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) and Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊).

In an address to the rally, Reverend Chen Sheng-cheng (陳勝政) said he hoped Taiwan would work hard to become a "new and independent nation."

Chen's remark echoed the church's declaration of human rights, which was issued on Aug 16, 1977, to then US president Jimmy Carter and other world leaders amid worsening diplomatic relations between the US and Taiwan.

"Thirty years on, [I] hope everyone can continue to fight for the Taiwanese people's rights," he said.

Although it was windy and drizzling, the rally marched along the Love River.

Some participants pushed strollers symbolizing the fight for the rights of the next generation.

The church invited Chinese Nationalist Party presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and Shih Ming-teh (施明德), leader of the anti-corruption campaign aimed at President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

The church said Ma and Hsieh were unavailable as Ma was on a "long-stay" visit to Chiayi as part of his election campaign and Hsieh was in Singapore.

Shih yesterday said he had not received an invitation from the group, but lauded its efforts.

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