By Hon David Kilgour
A lecture at the Taiwanese-Canada Association of Ottawa
It was a privilege to revisit Taipei in early April to support the “Sunflower Movement” and its well-founded concerns about Taiwan as a democratic and sovereign nation. Permit me to mention some points I made outside the Legislative Yuan:
- Public support for the Sunflower coalition of students, academics, civic organizations grew increasingly during three weeks of protest; one estimate was that a half million persons joined one support rally.
- Taiwan has become one of the strongest practitioners of multi-party democracy, pluralism, the rule of law, human dignity/equality, freedom of speech/assembly and independent media in Asia; this must not be lost now or ever.
- The occupation of the Legislative Yuan was precipitated by a trade-in- services agreement with China–both its substance and the undemocratic way the Ma government attempted to ram it through without due legislative consideration. Legislator Chang Ching-chung, the KMT chairman of a legislative committee, declared the clause-by-clause review of the pact completed after 30 seconds—a flagrant abuse of the Yuan’s procedural rules.