The World League for Freedom and Democracy's (WLFD) Taiwan chapter met for its 46th annual convention and celebrated the 48th World Freedom Day yesterday with participants urging China and North Korea to improve their human rights records.
"The Republic of China is now a well-respected country in the global community for its respect for human rights. On the contrary, communist China is severely criticized worldwide for its oppression of human rights," said Yao Eng-chi (
Kwon Jung-dal, president of the Korea Freedom League, cited Amnesty International's annual report as saying that North Korea's human rights situation is "one of the worst in the world."
"The government of North Korea must take this issue seriously and respond to the demands of the international community for openness and improvement," Kwon said.
Kwon also reviewed the history of World Freedom Day.
He said some 14,000 Chinese soldiers who were sent by China to fight in the Korean War defected to Taiwan on Jan. 23, 1954. They referred to Taiwan as "free China," and this is why Jan. 23 was named World Freedom Day, Kwon said.
"World Freedom Day was founded to remember and celebrate noble crusaders for world freedom, and to promote respect for the political and human rights of all peoples around the globe," Kwon said.
General Guillermo A. Pecache, president of the Philippine Council for World Freedom, stressed the importance of consolidating economic fundamentals as a key means to ensure the protection of human rights.
"What is clear is that unless we consolidate freedom and democracy by working on the economic foundations, the resulting anarchy would make human rights meaningless," said Pecache, who is also president of the Manila-based Asian Institute of Strategic Studies.
President Chen Shui-bian (
Minister of Foreign Affairs Eugene Chien (
The WLFD, a descendent of the Asian-Pacific Anti-Communist League established in 1954, has enjoyed longstanding government funding from Taiwan since its inception.
The WLFD, composed of 139 national chapters and affiliated international organizations, is the only NGO strongly associated with Taiwan that is accredited with the UN.
However, until last September, the WLFD was wracked by internal bickering, with two factions claiming to be the rightful leaders of the organization. The two factions were led by Yao and Clement Chang (
The stuggle was resolved after Chien, then the deputy secretary-general to President Chen, worked to mediate between the two factions. Chang agreed to lead the WLFD until the end of this year and then to allow Yao, through related legal procedures, to vie for the WLFD leadership, sources said.
SECRET OUT: Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung yesterday accidentally revealed that the infections occurred at the ministry’s Taoyuan General Hospital The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported the fifth COVID-19 case in a cluster infection at a Taoyuan hospital, where four other medical workers were confirmed to have been infected over the past week. The latest case is a nurse who had tested negative on Tuesday last week, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, told a news conference. However, on Thursday, she developed symptoms, such as nasal congestion and a cough, and a second test yesterday found that she was infected, Chen said. She is the head nurse of a ward where two
VIGILANCE: While two of the cases are family members of a nurse, there is no sign of community spread and the source of infection is identifiable, the CECC said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported four new domestic COVID-19 cases associated with a cluster infection at a Taoyuan hospital. Since the first case was identified on Tuesday last week, five healthcare workers — two doctors and three nurses — at the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Taoyuan General Hospital have tested positive for the virus. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that two of the four new cases are the husband and daughter of a nurse (case No. 863) who had earlier been confirmed to have COVID-19. The husband (case No. 864)
Don Quijote, the biggest discount store in Japan, is opening its first store in Taiwan today. The three-story Don Don Donki store in Taipei’s Ximending (西門町) area, which operates 24 hours a day, has already created 400 jobs, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said in a press release. Many Taiwanese, including Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊), consider a trip to Don Quijote an essential stop in Japan. “I have been to Don Quijote at least 10 times myself,” Huang said yesterday at a news conference announcing the store’s opening. “They are rendering an important service, because we cannot travel
‘CONTAINED’: The CECC is not considering locking down the hospital where the infections were detected, as their source has been found, Chen Shih-chung said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported one new domestic COVID-19 case, a doctor at a hospital in northern Taiwan where three other medical workers were confirmed to have the disease over the past week. The new case — No. 856 — is a doctor who had treated a COVID-19 patient together with case No. 838, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. Case No. 838, confirmed as a locally infected COVID-19 case on Tuesday, was the first case in the hospital cluster, and later infected his partner, who is a nurse at the same