The tent stands a mere 100 meters from busloads of tourists — most of them Chinese — who are actively taking pictures of themselves amid dozens of fluttering pigeons. Right behind them stands the ornate gate leading to Liberty Square, and behind it, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.
|Grim reading about Tibetans' final, desperate act|
Today is International Human Rights Day, and various groups in Taiwan are holding events and press conferences to argue their position. The Democratic Progressive Party, as expected, held an “international” press conference to unveil the results of a poll showing dissatisfaction with President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) record on human rights. Almost simultaneously, Ma was addressing a rather angry crowd at another press conference in the morning, droning on about his commitment to human rights (he, along with former Chinese premier Wen Jiabao [溫家寶] and former US president George W. Bush, now have something in common, as all three have had a shoe thrown at them in anger). Meanwhile, in front of the Presidential Office, a group of 150 to 200 elderly Taiwanese gathered to protest against the government and Chinese encroachment on Taiwan, as a few dozen policemen look on, evidently bored. Behind them on a stage stood what presumably serves as a replica of former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) cell. His son, Chen Chih-chung (陳致中), was among the speakers, his strident voice echoing all the way to the Presidential Office. Earlier, a dozen protesters unfurled small banners in front of the Control Yuan, while a young policeman looked on. As I walked by the Presidential Office, a guard told me it was forbidden to aim my camera at the main entrance of the building; as I came upon a side exit, a police van zipped by, carrying a handful of protesters with yellow lanyards tied round their foreheads.
|One of the participants in the 49-hour hunger strike|
The hunger strike ends at 7 tonight, but Tibetans’ fight for their people’s freedom continues.