12/30(Sat.)Transitional Justice Law; Lee Ming-che Case (Dan)

12/30(Sat.)Transitional Justice Law; Lee Ming-che Case (Dan)

文章Dan » 週日 12月 24, 2017 11:54 pm

Session I
Taiwan’s legislature passed the “Act on Promoting Transitional Justice” Dec. 5, the most important law to date to try to bring about transitional justice in Taiwan.

According to the International Center for Transitional Justice, transitional justice refers to the ways countries that had been ruled by authoritarian and repressive governments “address large-scale or systematic human rights violations that are so numerous and so serious that the normal justice system will not be able to provide an adequate response.”

Countries that undertake transitional justice have almost always “transitioned” to democracy and seek to bring about reconciliation among their people and to cement their democratic gains following years of human rights abuses.

Transitional justice is not a concept created by the DPP, as many people in Taiwan seem to think. Such countries as South Africa, Greece, Portugal, Brazil, Chile and South Korea have gone through this process. Taiwan has not.

The new law covers the period between Aug. 15, 1945, when Japanese colonial rule of Taiwan ended, to Nov. 6, 1992 when martial law was finally lifted in all of Taiwan. It’s believed that during the White Terror period, 140,000 Taiwanese were imprisoned and 3,000 to 4,000 were executed. An estimated 18,000 to 28,000 were killed in the 228 massacre.

The new law in Taiwan will set up a nine-member independent committee to oversee the new system of transitional justice. The measures will include the government retrieving archives of the period, including those held by the KMT; the removal, renaming or other changes to symbols of the past authoritarian government; and reopening court cases of innocent victims of the White Terror.

1. Do you support the Act on Promoting Transitional Justice? Why or why not?

2. The law could lead to removal of statues of Chiang Kai-shek and also removing his name and image from schools and street signs throughout Taiwan and from coins. Do you support these measures? Why or why not?

3. The law also could lead to demolishing or changing of the function of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. What are your thoughts about this? If not demolished, what should the new function be? Or do you think it should continue to be used for its present function of honoring Taiwan’s former leader and dictator?

4. Do you think perpetrators of human rights abuses during the White Terror period should be held responsible for their crimes if they are still alive? Why or why not?

http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aipl/201712050029.aspx

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/ ... 03677269/1

https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3320305

https://sentinel.tw/making-transitional-justice-work/

Session II
On Nov. 28, China sentenced Taiwanese human rights advocate Lee Ming-che to five years in prison
for attempting to peacefully promote multiparty democracy in group messaging chats. He had pleaded guilty to “subverting state power,” in what critics say was another example of a show trial in China to silence political dissidents.

It’s believed to be China’s first known criminal trial against of a foreign nonprofit worker and also the first known human rights prosecution of a Taiwanese citizen.

1. What are your thoughts about Lee Ming-che’s arrest and imprisonment?

2. Do you believe China was sending a warning message to Taiwan’s government and Taiwanese people, in general, by prosecuting Lee Ming-che?

3. Do you worry that Taiwanese citizens could be arrested if they visit China after they had criticized China in social media posts, even if they are not human rights activists?

4. Are you satisfied with the response of Taiwan’s government to the arrest and subsequent sentencing of Lee Ming-che?

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-42147776

http://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opi ... -activists

Agenda:
3:45 ~ 4:00pm Greetings & Free Talk / Ordering Beverage or Meal / Getting Newcomer’s Information
4:00 ~ 4:10pm Opening Remarks / Newcomer’s Self-introduction / Grouping
(Session I)
4:10 ~ 4:50pm Discussion Session (40 mins)
4:50 ~ 5:10pm Summarization (20 mins)
5:10 ~ 5:15pm Regrouping / Instruction Giving / Taking a 10 Minutes Break (Intermission)
(Session II)
5:15 ~ 5:55pm Discussion Session (40 mins)
6:00 ~ 6:20pm Summarization (20 mins)
6:20 ~ 6:30pm Concluding Remarks / Announcements
********************************************************************************************************************************************
聚會日期:列於該貼文主題內
聚會時間:請準時 4:00 pm 到 ~ 約 6:30 pm 左右結束
星期六聚會地點:丹堤濟南店
地址、電話:台北市濟南路三段25號 地圖 (02) 2740-2350
捷運站:板南線 忠孝新生站 3 號出口
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Dan
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註冊時間: 週四 9月 22, 2016 8:08 pm

Re: 12/30 Sat. Transitional Justice Law; Lee Ming-che Case (

文章Rock » 週一 12月 25, 2017 9:05 pm

@Dan,

Wow! These are hard core political discussions, and real taboos, too. I guess you are the only one who is qualified to host this kind of discussion in Yoyo. :lol: Good job.
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
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Rock
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文章: 1868
註冊時間: 週三 10月 31, 2007 9:03 am

Re: 12/30 Sat. Transitional Justice Law; Lee Ming-che Case (

文章Dan » 週一 12月 25, 2017 10:45 pm

@Rock,

Thanks. I hope the Yoyo club members will turn out for these weighty and pressing issues. These issues have been in the news a lot lately, and so we need to talk about them.

And, btw, I thought there were no longer any tabooed topics in the Yoyo club, at least under your presidency. (And this is the last meeting of your term.) :)
Dan
Member
 
文章: 24
註冊時間: 週四 9月 22, 2016 8:08 pm

Re: 12/30 Sat. Transitional Justice Law; Lee Ming-che Case (

文章Rock » 週二 12月 26, 2017 9:52 am

Hey, I didn't notice that. It's the last meeting of 2017! Thank you for hosting it for us. We're very lucky to have you so we can see things from an American friend's perspective. See you in the meeting lo.
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
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Rock
Vice President
 
文章: 1868
註冊時間: 週三 10月 31, 2007 9:03 am

Re: 12/30 Sat. Transitional Justice Law; Lee Ming-che Case (

文章Iris Wu » 週四 12月 28, 2017 3:28 pm

@Dan, according to Way (our new president), the 2018 YoYo presidency will be just a "puppet state", an extension of current administration, so "no longer any tabooed topics" policy is likely to continue. No need to worry if this will be your last hosting! :D
(Above statements are all just joking!)

Politics are serious, heavy and stressful subjects. How much is enough for so-called "transitional justice"? What are the rights of sovereign states/nations to conduct their own affairs? What is the boundary for people who believe in democracy want to influence people under the other sovereignty?
Iris Wu
YOYO member
 
文章: 595
註冊時間: 週二 5月 20, 2014 4:33 pm

Re: 12/30 Sat. Transitional Justice Law; Lee Ming-che Case (

文章Dan » 週四 12月 28, 2017 8:28 pm

@Iris, in fact, I waited until I was sure you were attending Yoyo Club meetings again to host this session on these hardcore political topics--because I know how nervous talking about politics makes you. :lol:

Since Way has wisely decided to continue the Rock administration's No Taboos/No Regrets doctrine, I think we need an official Yoyo English Club sweat towel for these stressful sessions. :) Seriously, this is going to be a friendly discussion to exchange thoughts and opinions.

If I understand your questions correctly, I'd respond by saying there are many new developments in the transitional justice issue. And, of course, no one is saying this isn't solely the decision of the Taiwanese people to make. But Taiwan, as a strong democracy that respects human rights, is open to debate and commentary from the international community. Now, countries that do not respect human rights are usually the ones that want "no outside influence in their internal affairs." China and Russia come readily to mind.

And speaking of Taiwanese sovereignty...yes we will, when we talk about the Lee Ming-che case.

See you Saturday!
Dan
Member
 
文章: 24
註冊時間: 週四 9月 22, 2016 8:08 pm

Re: 12/30 Sat. Transitional Justice Law; Lee Ming-che Case (

文章Rock » 週五 12月 29, 2017 9:29 am

I'm sure this discussion will be friendly since we have done several ones before. My experience tells me that Yoyo people are rational and reasonable, so there is no hard feelings but simply opinions exchange. No problem at all for me.

But Dan, please understand that: as Taiwanese, we love our country so much; we want a peaceful life. Many people think that DPP government has been taking advantage of this transitional justice issue too many times. It's not problem solving; it's problem making. There is no need for my ancestors to say sorry to the aboriginals for taking their land anymore, nor is it necessary to blame those wrong-doers in 228 anymore-- they are all dead long time ago. Spending our money on these meaningless issues and making people in this island hate each other is a stupid punishment to ourselves, not the guilty ones.

But then again, these topics were on TV and newspaper, and they are big ones, too. Pretending not seeing them won't make them disappear, so we may as well talk about them and practice our English. Many thanks to Dan for giving us an opportunity to say something about it in your language. However, it's not a real discussion or debate, the language barrier is holding us back. Maybe you wanna join our real discussion, in Chinese, after the Yoyo meeting? :lol: :lol:
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
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Rock
Vice President
 
文章: 1868
註冊時間: 週三 10月 31, 2007 9:03 am

Re: 12/30 Sat. Transitional Justice Law; Lee Ming-che Case (

文章Rock » 週五 12月 29, 2017 9:54 am

Hi, Iris, Way is right about the "puppet state" thing. However, the so called "Rock administration" is nothing but another puppet state, so basically I'm just passing the tradition to him. :lol:

Our new president will be a great speak person for Yoyo. He is much smarter and more experienced than me in every way. It's very lucky for us to have him as the president. We will fully support him and the club in the coming year. I believe there will be more fun in 2018. :drink:
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
頭像
Rock
Vice President
 
文章: 1868
註冊時間: 週三 10月 31, 2007 9:03 am

Re: 12/30 Sat. Transitional Justice Law; Lee Ming-che Case (

文章Dan » 週五 12月 29, 2017 3:05 pm

My dear Rock,

Thank you for starting the friendly debate for my topic even before Saturday. I'm hoping it will bring out many more people for the discussion, even though you thoroughly dismiss the need transitional justice in Taiwan, calling it a waste of time and money and blaming efforts at bringing about transitional justice for stoking hatred among Taiwanese. Given this, thank you for not calling the session tomorrow a complete waste of time. You still say that Yoyo members can practice their English. :D :roll:

While your statements are solely your opinion, since we are in the final days of the Rock administration, I feel the need to counter the claims. So I am linking much more reading material in English for my long-suffering friends in the Yoyo Club. I also summarize one of the main points in each article so they don't have to plow through all of it. But Yoyo members, please know that you have Rock to blame for the following: :)

The purpose of transitional justice isn't to rehash past wrongs or reopen old wounds, it's to strengthen the current democracy of the country undertaking the program and to bring about reconciliation among the people: This article states there can be no true democracy without transitional justice.
https://www.ictj.org/news/no-true-democ ... al-justice

This research paper states that without transitional justice, it will be hard to rebuild trust in Taiwanese society. And failing to uncover the truth and have accountability for the human rights abuses of the past could "bring about a serious crisis of democratic governance in Taiwan."
http://kolegia.sgh.waw.pl/pl/KES/czasop ... _Chung.pdf

An expert in this article states that while Taiwanese don't want the transitional justice process to be politicized, they do want an accurate assessment of Chiang Kai-shek's actions and legacy.
http://beta.latimes.com/world/asia/la-f ... story.html

According to this article from last year, because of the lack of transitional justice, a "disheartening affinity to authoritarian leaders is still embraced by politicians from major political parties"
https://thediplomat.com/2016/09/taiwans ... l-justice/

And as I stated in the summary for this discussion, several countries ruled by authoritarian governments that committed human rights abuses in the past have already undergone a transitional justice process. According to this article, while Taiwan has failed to hold even one truth commission to find out the extent of the human rights abuses, South Korea had 18 truth commissions.
https://sentinel.tw/transitional-justice-taiwan/

This article talks about divisions already in Taiwanese society--not created by transitional justice but remaining because of the absence of transitional justice.
http://www.ketagalanmedia.com/2017/12/1 ... way-to-go/

And just to show that I'm not just focusing on Taiwan's lack of transitional justice, I'll point out that in my own country, the USA, the lack of a reckoning for the monstrosity that was human slavery has left permanent scars and divisions in American society that we are feeling to this day (and which Trump has exploited).

See you tomorrow.
Dan
Member
 
文章: 24
註冊時間: 週四 9月 22, 2016 8:08 pm

Re: 12/30 Sat. Transitional Justice Law; Lee Ming-che Case (

文章Rock » 週五 12月 29, 2017 11:34 pm

Wow! That's a lot of reading material. I think I can finish them except the 24-page research paper. Gotta read them and learn something. Reading is fun. No problem. :D

I cannot deny the importance of transitional justice. I'm not sure if my opinion about the current condition of transitional justice in Taiwan is right or not, either. And you're right, it's only my personal opinion. Others may think totally different from me. I'm pretty sure we can hear quite different voices tomorrow.

And there may be a misunderstanding: I didn't say the session tomorrow is a waste of time; I said the topic is a big one and people shouldn't pretend it doesn't exist. However, the language barrier is holding us back, so it won't be as real as a discussion in Chinese language. As the president of the club, I do hope that many Yoyo people can join the discussion tomorrow. The more, the merrier.

Yes, see you guys all tomorrow. :D
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
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Rock
Vice President
 
文章: 1868
註冊時間: 週三 10月 31, 2007 9:03 am

Re: 12/30 Sat. Transitional Justice Law; Lee Ming-che Case (

文章Iris Wu » 週六 12月 30, 2017 9:39 am

Thanks, Rock, now we need to read another dozen articles!!!

The summary cannot be fully trusted (because Dan is biased :)). Just read the last article and I have to stand by Rock:
1) Taiwan needs to look into its future (NOT "Taiwan certainly needs to fully reckon with its past" as the author emphasized.)

2) For people who think they are victims, I think none of "justice" will be satisfied. (The dead cannot be reborn and life cannot be restored.)

3) I don't mean justice should not be served, but after the truth, the apology and the compensation was granted, the never-ending demands becomes political revenge tools.

4) Two-party system is dangerous if both parties cannot treat each other as a complement in governing and monitoring functions. If one side sees the governing as an opportunity to wipe out the other side, the country is in great danger. “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.”

5) Personally, I don’t think the US or the South Africa social issues are because of the uncovered truth or unjustified justice and I don’t think removing the statues of controversial figures or tearing down a memorial hall forcefully represent majority people’s thinking about justice or the best use of social resources. Contribution or faults, merits or demerits of controversial figures is complicated even by historians’ standard. Leaving it to people in a truly transitional manner instead of by political manipulation is better for a society to heal.

6) Many authors said that people who resist transitional justice are using “feelings” and don’t understand the true meaning of it or understand what the victims want. Personally I think the same “mistakes” can be applied to the people who wrote these statements. In the last article, the author used the taxi driver’s statements as example to show how victims feel and want. That example really pits me off. If a person could stay in US for over 20 years and came back as a taxi driver with perfect English and spat out from the car, something isn’t not quite right there. Using those examples to show how justice should be done is very much not convincing.
Iris Wu
YOYO member
 
文章: 595
註冊時間: 週二 5月 20, 2014 4:33 pm

Re: 12/30 Sat. Transitional Justice Law; Lee Ming-che Case (

文章Rock » 週六 12月 30, 2017 10:38 pm

The meeting turned out to be peacefully exciting. Good! We seldom have a chance to talk about politics like this. Many thanks to Dan for hosting it again.

Attendees: Dan (host), Iris, Steve, Michael (family), Light, Way, Momo, Leon, Luis, Johnny, Vicky, Kitty Hawk (Dan's friend), Rock, Catherine, Rosie. Thank you for coming.
In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
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Rock
Vice President
 
文章: 1868
註冊時間: 週三 10月 31, 2007 9:03 am

Re: 12/30 Sat. Transitional Justice Law; Lee Ming-che Case (

文章Dan » 週一 1月 01, 2018 10:08 pm

Happy New Year all!

@Rock, thanks very much to you and also thanks much to Kooper for giving me the opportunity to host these sessions. I thoroughly enjoyed exchanging views and opinions with all of you. (Even if I still can't understand why most of you don't seem to be in favor of transitional justice). :?

Thanks to everyone for attending and engaging in the spirited discussion! :)
Dan
Member
 
文章: 24
註冊時間: 週四 9月 22, 2016 8:08 pm


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