It was all over the nets the other day and now made the news: Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) is going to probe the 34 signatories of the Open Letter to Ma Ying-jeou. Feeling a bit chilly? Read on....note the sick attack on Nat Bellocchi, implying he was somehow not right in the head:
Following the letter’s publication, some Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers, including Chiu Yi (邱毅), appeared on TV talk shows on Monday night and questioned whether the signatories were fully aware of the content of the letter.The KMT plan is make it appear as though the letter is a nefarious plot of the DPP. But I am familiar with its history and can assure readers it was written in English and sent around to each of the signatories in that language. Not that you guys believe John Chiang anyway.
Bruce Linghu (令狐榮達), head of the ministry’s Department of North American Affairs, said yesterday the ministry would contact each of the signatories to check if they initiated the petition themselves or just added their names to it, what their concerns were and what exactly they knew about the matter.
“We heard that Bellocchi seldom goes out nowadays and it is not so often that people have a chance to talk to him. It seems he has not been well recently. We are checking this out,” Linghu said.
Linghu said the ministry would make it clear to the signatories that the government’s decision to turn over the missing documents’ case to the Control Yuan for investigation was made based on the law and would ask them to respect Taiwan’s legal system.
KMT Legislator John Chiang (蔣孝嚴) yesterday asked Hou to give him a copy of the original letter along with other open letters addressed to Ma by Bellocchi and others in recent years.
Chiang said he doubted the original letter was written in English, as the ministry has said.
“It’s a reasonable assumption that the letter was originally written in Chinese. [Bellocchi] had a written Chinese version in place and had others put their names on it. Their position has been clear, which is to attack the Ma Ying-jeou administration, accusing it of taking democracy a step backward, abusing political power and harboring political motives,” Chiang said.
The instant reach for DPP-led conspiracy sheds light on the KMT reaction to the assassination attempt on Chen Shui-bian by a disgruntled Blue supporter. It seems a handy response to anything that places the KMT in a bad light.
Feelin' that chill? Yes, it's the apparent use of government organs to chill free speech in Taiwan by "investigating" people who speak in a way the government doesn't like. Scary. Hope the public is paying attention.
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