SUPPORTERS OF ´ILLEGAL´ DEMOCRATIC PROGRESSIVE PARTY BARRED FROM TAIWAN

Taiwan
1986-12-03 00:00:00

Eleven members and supporters of Taiwan´s "illegal", Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), barred from entering Taiwan, have used Hong Kong as a forum for expressing their grievances against the ruling Kuomintang.

The group came here Nov. 30 from Tokyo where airline officials had barred them from boarding a Taiwan-bound plane because they did not have any entry permits.

Hsu Hsin-liang, leader of the DPP´s overseas branch, remained in Tokyo.

Hsu, who lives in the United States, was convicted by a Taiwan court for sedition in connection with the 1979 riot in Kaohsiung. Hsu wanted to return to Taiwan to campaign for the DPP in the Dec. 6 election.

At a press conference at Tokyo´s Narita airport, he said he wanted to return to Taiwan "to join our fellow countrymen in seeking non-violent political change which the people of Taiwan are calling for."

More, than 2,000 supporters were prevented from going to Taipei airport.

Among the persons who came to Hong Kong was Maryknoll Father James Collignon, who served as a missioner in Taiwan for 18 years. He was denied a visa to return to Taiwan.

Father Collignon told a press conference held Dec. 1 at a Hong Kong restaurant that he decided to join the group because "it is a human right to return home."

He added he supported the movement for democracy in Taiwan and "the right of self-determination of the people of Taiwan."

Father Collignon was echoing the statement released by DPP Sept. 28, the day it was established -- that the people of Taiwan have the right to decide their own future and that "the people on both sides of the Taiwan (Formosa) Strait should engage in peaceful competition on an equal basis."

DPP´s positions on the "two Chinas" and the Taiwanese people disqualify it from official recognition as a political party.

President Chiang Ching-kuo had ruled that only parties which respect the constitution, fight communism and oppose the Taiwan independence movement will be officially recognized.

Also speaking at the press conference was Linda Gail Arrigo Shih, wife of political dissident Shih Ming-teh, who has been imprisoned since Jan. 8, 1980.

She said she was supporting the right of the Taiwanese politicians to return to Taiwan. She also said she hoped to visit her husband, whom she has not seen since 1979.

Taiwanese authorities have returned all letters she has written to her husband, she said. Her husband "has never in these years been allowed to send a single letter to me."

The press conference was interrupted several times by hecklers and once by firemen who responded to a false report that a fire had broken out in the restaurant.

END

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