Taiwan: Problems in Paradise under Ma Ying-jeou

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Thursday May 14, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

Taiwan and Kaohsiung are bracing for the protest marches on Sunday May 17th. They promise to be colorful with plenty of creative signs and slogans as the people voice their discontent with Ma Ying-jeou's poor leadership in his first year as president. There will be plenty of photos following on the web to give ample evidence that all is not well in Taiwan despite the glossy veneer that some would like to put on the erosion of justice and human rights under Ma as well as his lack of transparency in dealings with Taiwan's troublesome neighbor across the Strait.

Last Thursday a separate incident dripping with irony took place that highlights what many see as the hypocrisy of Ma. Ma was officially signing the two United Nation human rights covenants that allegedly pledged his respect for human rights. However, outside the Taipei Guest House where he was doing the signing, the police force with instructions from Ma's office were abusing citizens and denying their right to freedom of expression and protest. Strange you say? Observe the following video of that incident, particularly the last minute where you see the large amount of police gathered to keep citizens away. This is the true face of Ma.