Hunger strike for referendum law amendment in Taiwan
Following the October 25th protest against Ma Ying-jeou and China, a group of protesters, led by the Taiwan Association of University Professors (TAUP), started a hunger strike in front of the Parliament. David has an article on this with photos. They are demanding an amendment to the Referendum Law.
Here’s a passage from Taipei Times about this strike, explaining the problem with the law:
The law, enacted by the Chinese Nationalist Party-dominated (KMT) legislature in 2003, stipulates that the number of signatures required for a referendum proposal to be reviewed is 0.5 percent of the voters who participated in the most recent presidential election — or approximately 80,000 individuals — with an additional 5 percent signatures from the population needed for a referendum to be held.
Not only was the threshold unreasonably high but decisions passed by a referendum still have to be vetted by the Parliament! In any democracy, the power of referendum (directly from people) should be above that of people’s representatives (indirect) but the KMT didn’t take any notice of this. Because pan-Blue coalition always get over half of the seats in the parliament, they can easily reject any referendum results.
Prof. Tsai made this demand at this time because when faced with Ma’s dodgy motives and conducts, the only legitimate way Taiwanese can really make their own decisions on sovereignty and reject any illegitimate agreements between Ma’s government and CCP is through proper referenda. Therefore, Prof. Tsai and his supporters are adamant to make their voice heard. He said in an interview that if Taiwanese, including himself, have to be suppressed by the Chinese and the KMT from generation to generation, then the life is not worth living. Here’s a clip of Dr. Hsieh Chih-wei’s interview with Prof. Tsai on 29th October, 4 days after the hunger strike began. The same page also has more photos.
Here are clips, photos and daily updates on this hunger strike: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6. Yufu’s Yushan internet TV team has been following this event around the clock and uploading the latest visuals online every day since it started.
Over the past few days, the police have been warning the protesters to leave. On the other hand, a lot of long time activists and pro-Taiwan groups and supporters went there to support this strike such as the popular host of Talking Show, Cheng, Hung-yi, representatives and the spokesperson from Frank Hsieh’s Shadow Government, the current and former DPP chairpersons… etc.
This evening (31st October), 7pm Taiwanese time, around 1,000 people were outside the Parliament supporting this strike. Prof. Tsai has been taken into the hospital as his physical condition was deteriorating. Here are some photos for this evening in the following links.
Mr. Lin, Yi-hsiung, former DPP chairman, has also endeavoured to push for an amendment but not seemed to receive any meaningful and positive responses from the KMT. Not surprisingly, the KMT has not said a word this time.