The pro-Taiwanese independence Formosa Alliance is to part ways with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and adopt a new, symbolic turquoise banner, the party said at a commemoration in Taipei yesterday of the 30th anniversary of the death of democracy advocate Deng Nan-jung (鄭南榕).
In 1984, Deng started Freedom Era Weekly (自由時代週刊) to pursue what he called “100 percent freedom of speech.”
In 1988, after publishing a draft “Republic of Taiwan constitution,” he was charged with sedition, after which he went into self-imposed isolation.
On April 7, 1989, following 70 days of isolation, he set himself on fire as heavily armed police attempted to break into his office.
In 2016, then-premier Lin Chuan (林全) designated April 7 as Freedom of Speech Day in honor of Deng.
Yesterday’s event drew more than 300 people for musical performances and speakers who shared their memories of Deng, as well as disappointments with the DPP administration.
The party has taken the helm twice, but refrains from telling the world that the nation is “Taiwan,” not “Chinese Taipei,” alliance founder and former Formosa TV chairman Kuo Pei-hung (郭倍宏) said.
The alliance has been urging the government to amend the Referendum Act (公民投票法) to allow referendums on declaring the nation’s independence and changing its name.
The Formosa Alliance plans to adopt turquoise as its color, because the color symbolizes the spirit of the ocean and the land of Taiwan, while differentiating it from the DPP, whose color is green, Kuo said.
“As Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) makes more blatant attempts to annex Taiwan, the DPP administration continues to lead the nation toward a dead end by failing to make the world know that the nation is called ‘Taiwan,’” he said.
Regrettably, today’s young people take freedom of speech for granted, while three decades ago, Deng had to sacrifice his life for it, New Power Party Legislator Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said.
Chen Yung-hsin (陳永興), founder of the Chinese-language Taiwan People News, called on the audience — mostly middle-aged or older people — to improve communication with the younger generation.
Many young people support President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) because she promotes marriage equality, but they pay little attention to the issue of rectifying the nation’s name, which should be given equal importance, he added.
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