March 4, 2005
Taiwanese shine light on global awareness

by Peggy Carr In Taipei

Pro-independence groups in Taiwan organized a symbolic global torch-lighting ceremony and other activities, from Saturday 26th February, with the aim of raising public awareness of the need to defend “a free Taiwan against an aggressive China.” The events commemorated the anniversary of a February 28, 1947 incident in which thousands of Taiwanese citizens either disappeared or were executed under the then authoritarian government.{{more}}

The Taiwan Professors Association, along with ten other pro-independence groups, is urging Taiwan nationals around the world, as well as friends of Taiwan, to participate in a number of events that will be held at 16 locations in Taiwan and in 10 major cities around the globe. The synchronized torch- or candle-lighting ceremony was scheduled for 8:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on February 28 (8 to 8:30 a.m. SVG time).

The groups also solicited the help of Senior Presidential Advisor Koo Kwang-ming and Chairman of World United Formosans for Independence Ng Chiau-tong to present a “Free Taiwan Declaration” that calls for recognition of Taiwan’s right to existence.

“With God as our witness, we gather here to swear to the spirits of our ancestors and proclaim to the world that Taiwan is a nation state, is independent and sovereign,” the declaration states.

“Although justice and human rights declarations have frequently been disregarded by the United Nations, and the founding spirit of the United States’ ‘liberty and justice’ has not always been followed, though democratic countries around the world often submit to intimidation by China, though the world disregards the will of the Taiwanese people to form an independent nation state, we firmly and consistently make our feeble but clear voice heard: please respect Taiwan’s right to existence,” Koo and Ng will plead, reading from the statement.

The groups are hoping that apart from raising international awareness of Taiwan’s need for support, the activities, which include radio talk shows, seminars, memorial services, and protest rallies, will help to consolidate determination at home and abroad to defy China’s attempts to annex Taiwan.

“Though Taiwan is not a big country in terms of size, it is our home and our country, the place where our loved ones live and where our ancestors are buried,” the declaration reads. “We pledge our lives to do whatever possible to defend this country, the land, the people, our freedom and democracy, our way of life, the natural right to be free … heaven be our witness.”