The National Human Rights Commission yesterday honored the “mother of Taiwanese modern dance,” Tsai Jui-yueh (蔡瑞月), who was imprisoned by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime during the White Terror era.
The commemoration, held at the Tsai Jui-yueh Dance Research Institute in Taipei, comes ahead of the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Wednesday next week.
At the event, Control Yuan President Chen Chu (陳菊), the commission’s chairwoman, talked about Tsai and her husband, Lei Shih-yu (雷石榆), in recalling Taiwan’s democratic transition, during which many people were persecuted and killed.
Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times
“We want people to remember the history of the struggle for freedom, so that we can have the will to defend and love our freedom and democracy, which came about only through hard-fought efforts,” Chen said.
A documentary on Tsai’s life was shown at the commemoration, with many in attendance wearing purple ribbons to raise awareness about violence against women.
Tsai’s story has come to represent the victims of the White Terror era, when in 1949 the KMT arrested Lei, an Indonesian-born poet, on suspicion of being a communist agent and deported him to China, separating him from Tsai and their son for more than 40 years, Chen said.
Tsai was also arrested, presumably for maintaining contact with Lei, and incarcerated in Taipei and later for three years on Green Island, Chen said.
Tsai was released in 1953 and founded a dance studio in Taipei, but she and her school were under constant surveillance by the authorities, who disrupted her work and performances, and prevented her from leaving Taiwan.
“Tsai and Lei’s love story lasted through tragic circumstances for many decades, and it has moved many people. It happened because of state violence against a woman,” Chen said.
“We must pursue human rights at all times. It is not possible to reach into every corner to hear every cry for help and sad story. It is up to everyone to be vigilant and strive to listen for the voices of society’s underprivileged, and find ways to help them,” she added.
LOOPHOLES: The people behind biased media content produced by a Chinese network, likely without sending staff to Taiwan, remain anonymous, a source said Beijing’s latest attempt at psychological warfare through heavily biased online media is aimed at sowing discord and polarizing Taiwanese society, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said. The council’s comment came in response to Chinese network Southeast Television, which late last month began broadcasting an online program featuring commentary by Taiwanese unification supporters that authorities suspect was filmed illegally in Taiwan. To circumvent cross-strait regulations, the broadcaster collaborated with online service provider Baidu to air the series titles Diverse Voices From the Taiwan Strait (台海百家說). Only Taiwanese are shown on camera, without revealing the host, interviewer or production team. In one video, political commentator and
RULES IGNORED: CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang said that crew members who break the rules would be required to complete the full 14-day quarantine Three EVA Airways flight attendants were fired last month and this month after they failed to follow the government’s quarantine requirements. This was the first time that flight attendants have lost their jobs for quarantine failures. One flight attendant reportedly breached the quarantine mandate by going to school, visiting relatives and dining with friends, while lying to the company about her activities, EVA Air said. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) have established disease prevention measures for cabin crew members, such as monitoring their health and reporting their temperature daily, the company said. While on flight duty, crew
A group of overseas Taiwanese in Norway are taking a case on their national identity to the European Court of Human Rights — with plans to file the case in the first half of next year — after Norway’s Supreme Court rejected their appeal to change their listed nationality from “China” to “Taiwan,” Joseph Liu, a Taiwanese lawyer living in Norway, told reporters on Monday. One of the initiators of the movement, “My Name, My Right,” Liu and his group plan to hire lawyers from the UK and France who know European law and have knowledge of Asia to represent them,
SUPPRESSION: Michael Tsai, a former defense minister, said that Beijing’s list of Taiwan independence advocates contravenes the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights The best way to respond to threats from China against Taiwan independence advocates is for the president to publicly reiterate Taiwan’s sovereignty, former minister of national defense Michael Tsai (蔡明憲) said on Sunday. Chinese media on Nov. 15 said that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was compiling “a list of stubborn Taiwanese separatists and will severely punish them in accordance with [China’s] Anti-Secession Law and hold them accountable for their actions for the rest of their lives.” Chinese media subsequently accused Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) of being a “first-rate war criminal,” because of his policy on mask exports. “The vast majority