Chairperson Tsai: human rights is a privilege that needs to be developed and practiced

DPP Chairperson Ing-wen Tsai was invited this evening (July 2nd) to speak at a book release ceremony for Tsai Ruei-yueh Dance Company’s “The Road to Human Rights, 2008 New Edition.” Tsai emphasized that human rights is neither a slogan nor a consumed good. Rather, it is the privilege of every citizen that needs to be aggressively developed and practiced. Tsai expressed appreciation for the hard work and contributions by many of her elders to human rights and democracy and is happy to see young people paying attention, listening and actively participating in these issues. With an infinite amount of creativity, the path of human rights will continue on to the next generation. In closing, Tsai used a Taiwanese proverb to encourage all the people in attendance, “It speaks to the resilience of the leaves of the sweet potato, which are not afraid to fall to the ground because they will grow into a better plant for future generations.”

During her speech, Tsai mentioned that human rights contains the word “right”, which is opposite from “wrong”. Since history has committed many mistakes, the past has allowed us to appreciate even more the value of human rights. In 1981, while studying in the United Kingdom, she heard about the unjust murder of Dr. Chen Wen-chen. Along with several other young people from Taiwan, they were shocked and saddened by this incident and the condition of Taiwanese society. The road to human rights is frequently filled with setbacks that cause people to feel helplessness and pain. However, it actually builds up the will and creativity to move forward on a better path.

At the book release ceremony held by the Dr. Chen Wen-chen Memorial Foundation, Chairperson Tsai, victims from the White Terror period of the 1950s and 1970s, and a group of young people watched a dance performance representing complete restrictions on human rights. In addition, she and the other attendees participated in a play entitled “Transmitting, Accepting and Creating”, after which Tsai watched a video on members of the Experience Green Island Youth Camp and listened as they gave a report to the new book’s staff team. Chairperson Tsai also attended the award ceremony for the Chen Wen-chen Statistical Science Scholarship before finally taking a photo with all the participants and attending the reception.