The Condolence Statement for Senator Ted Kennedy
Taiwan has lost a good friend with the passing of Senator Ted Kennedy. The Democratic Progressive Party wishes to extend its deepest condolences to the Senator’s family.
We will never forget Senator Kennedy’s forceful support for the people of Taiwan as we struggled to end martial law and build a nation where human rights and democracy might flourish.
We will never forget his stirring call on May 20, 1982, "Today marks the 33rd anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law on Taiwan. That declaration has long outlived its usefulness, and I am pleased to join my distinguished colleagues Senator Claiborne Pell, Congressman Stephen Solarz and Congressman James Leach in issuing a statement today calling for an end to martial law and for progress toward restoring individual freedoms and human rights for all the people of Taiwan....
“During my years in the Senate, I have spoken out as forcefully as I can against abuses of human rights wherever they occur. I have opposed the serious abuses of those basic rights by the rulers of the People’s Republic of China. But one cannot look the other way when such abuses occur on the island of Taiwan.”The Senator continued, “It is clear that too many citizens are jailed in Taiwan for expressing their political views and defending their human rights. I therefore call on the leadership of Taiwan to take immediate action to release the political and religious prisoners and to improve the human rights situation on the island.”
We took heart in these words of encouragement, fought hard and continue the fight to build a Taiwan without restrictions on individual freedoms and human rights.
We will never forget you, Senator. May you rest in peace.