An increasing number of young Taiwanese are taking an interest in the life and tragic end of Deng Nan-jung (鄭南榕), the executive director of the foundation named after the late democracy activist said yesterday on the 24th anniversary of Deng’s death by self-immolation.
The mood at the Deng Liberty Foundation, located on the recently renamed Freedom Lane in Taipei, was one of introspection as groups of people yesterday came to pay their respects to the former editor-in-chief of Freedom Era Weekly (自由時代週刊). Facing charges of sedition for his calls on the government to protect freedom of expression, Deng set himself ablaze in his office on April 7, 1989.
Ten years later, the same office, which by then had been turned into a human rights memorial hall, was opened to the public, showcasing a collection of photographs of Deng and other activists who fought for freedom in Taiwan under martial law. Hauntingly, Deng’s office remains as it was found after he committed the ultimate sacrifice, a reminder of a not-so-distant past.
Photo: J. Michael Cole, Taipei Times
Visitors yesterday honored the man by depositing red roses outside the charred room. A single white scarf, left behind by a Tibetan organization, graced the entrance to Deng’s study.
Addressing a group of several dozen visitors, foundation chief executive Tsao Chin-jung (曹欽榮) said he had observed in recent years a marked change in the interest among young people to learn more about Deng’s life and sacrifice.
He said the foundation was receiving more requests from students to visit it, to deepen their understanding of the man, whose Mainlander background had not diminished his commitment to Taiwan, as former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), like Deng a former political prisoner, once said of him.
Thanks to the Internet and social media, interest in Deng’s life seems to be seeing a revival, Tsao said, adding that most young visitors today already had a fair understanding of Deng’s life and works.
Just as this correspondent was entering the memorial hall, he ran into Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆), a student leader who played a major role leading the anti-media monopoly movement against the attempted — now failed — acquisition of Next Media by a consortium that included Want Want China Times Group chairman Tsai Eng-meng (蔡衍明), whose close ties with the regime in Beijing have made him a controversial figure in the nation’s media environment.
Earlier in the day, Lin and several young activists had joined others during a ceremony at the Jinbaoshan Cemetery in New Taipei City (新北市) to honor Deng.
Young people have also sought other means to remember Deng. National Cheng Kung University’s 02 Group, whose members have pledged to continue to pursue the values that Deng sacrificed his life for, was scheduled to hold a candlelit vigil last night in memory of Deng.
Young Taiwanese were not the only ones who showed up to honor Deng. Following Tsao’s presentation at the foundation, a young Chinese student, who is studying at National Taiwan University, also made a brief speech.
Carrying a satchel he had just purchased from the foundation, the student said there were reasons to worry about Taiwan’s future, and he pointed to corruption within the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) as the main problem.
LIABILITIES MULLED: New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi said Taipei would find out if the firm was legally registered, the guide was licensed and the weather was assessed The assets of Tian Da Local Nature Co are to be frozen after at least four people died after falling into the Beishi River (北勢溪) on an outing the company had organized on Saturday, the Taipei City Government said yesterday. Six people — two adults and four children — were washed away by a flash flood on the river in New Taipei City’s Hubaotan (虎豹潭) area. They were participating in a Nature Joy Camp outdoor activity with a group of 16 adults and 15 children led by a guide surnamed Su (蘇). As of 4:30pm yesterday, four of the missing had been
Taiwanese worked more hours than people in all but three other countries in the world last year, Ministry of Labor data showed. Singapore placed first in average hours worked among the 40 economies surveyed, with an average of 2,288 hours per worker last year, the data showed. The city-state was followed by Colombia with 2,172 hours — based on 2019 data — and Mexico with 2,124 hours, it showed. Taiwan came in fourth, with 2,021 hours, it showed. South Korean workers clocked the third-most hours in Asia, with 1,908 hours, followed by Japan with 1,598 hours, it showed. However, compared with 2019, the survey found
The US 7th Fleet yesterday confirmed that a US Navy ship transited the Taiwan Strait on Thursday and Friday. “The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Dewey [DDG 105] conducted a Taiwan Strait transit in cooperation with Royal Canadian Navy [RCN] Halifax-class frigate, HMCS Winnipeg, October 14-15, 2021,” the US 7th Fleet said in a statement. “Dewey’s and Winnipeg’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the commitment of the United States and our allies and partners to a free and open Indo-Pacific. Cooperation like this represents the centerpiece of our approach to a secure and prosperous region,” it added. The transit marked the
‘COUNTERPRODUCTIVE’: The German, French and Singaporean missions said that Taiwan’s COVID-19 restrictions are hindering local projects and business operations Several foreign missions in Taiwan have urged the government to ease its strict COVID-19 border controls, which they say are hurting in-person exchanges and business operations. The missions made the appeal in response to media inquiries on how the border controls have affected their respective countries’ exchanges with Taiwan, amid growing concerns voiced privately by Taiwan-based foreign offices and businesses regarding the restrictions. Taiwan has maintained strict entry requirements since March last year, generally prohibiting most arrivals except for citizens and foreign residents, while it has required those who enter the country to undergo a stringent 14-day quarantine. Although the rules have been