Planned Workouts and scheduled races

Every Wednesday: Bigfoot Cycle Workout (Dali) 5:15 am
Every Saturday: Bigfoot Swim Workout (Dali) 6:00 am

8/28 Vision Bigfoot Duathlon (Qingshui) 8:00 am
9/4 Taiwan P.E. University Cup 5000m 4:00 pm
10/1 Beauty of Taidong Triathlon (Olympic Distance) 8:00 am
10/30 Gaomei Wetland Marathon (Qingshui) - (Marathon distance) 6:00 am
11/5 NeverStop West Coast Bike Race (200km) 5:00 am *
11/13 Taoyuan National Marathon (Marathon distance) - TBA 11/20 Mizono Marathon Relay
12/18 Fubon Taipei Marathon (Marathon distance) 7:00 am (Boston Marathon qualifying attempt)

* reconsidering the NeverStop race due to the date change to November, which would result in four race weekends (perhaps five if the Supau Cup is on 11/27) in a row.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

KMT attacking freedom of speech?

Just a few days ago, I warned about the possibility of clamping down on the media and how this could be the next step in Taiwan falling down the road of Venezuela. Little did I know that there would be indications of this less than a week after making the prediction.

Taiwan has a free wheeling radio culture. There are many small, independent stations, especially in Southern Taiwan which are pro-Green and operate in Taiwanese. One of these stations based in Tainan is known as Sinying Radio. The National Communications Commission has decided not to give them a renewal of their regular operating license. This is an award winning station that has been harshly critical of the government, and coming on the heels of the apparently politically motivation indictment of former President Lee Tung-hui, it is potentially chilling of broadcast dissent in the run up to the presidential and legislative polls in just a few months time.

Also, for the second time in less than a month, the prison in which former President Chen Shui-bian is being held after a trial that came well short of international standards for fairness and the protection of defendants' rights once again blocked him from publishing a column from prison. Even prisonors have basic human rights, including the right to communicate with the outside world.

These two events combined with the indictment of former President Lee is a serious problem in the lead-up to the elections in January. There is definately the appearance that the government is using the apparatus of the state to silence and harrass the opposition. This is exactly how Chavez came to be where he is in Venezuela today. Is this yet another step in Taiwan going down this road? Only the Taiwanese people can say -- with their votes in January.

1 comment:

  1. Well put Michael, this is a pretty good perspective. If only such perspectives can become more publicized, then would it make an impact in the voting next year. Unfortunately, the general public in Taiwan do not have a strong education on government and especially democracy. They would simply view the radio stations being shut down with "they are radicals! who cares!" and the unfair A-bian trial with "He deserves it." Its disappointing to know that people do not think subjectively and therefore are not able to extract the true essence from these events which is what you mentioned - freedom of speech being attacked. Because of the history of the ROC in Taiwan, the KMT still maintains to much control (not just influence) over too many aspects of life (media, education, army, government, etc, etc.) and really, the voters are the ones that could really make a difference!