[lg policy] Taiwan: Group seeks legal end to language policy

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Fri Jan 30 16:16:50 UTC 2015

Group seeks legal end to language policy
By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

A coalition of organizations yesterday filed a lawsuit at the Taipei
District Court seeking to overturn the government policy of having Mandarin
as the nation’s only official language.

The two main plaintiffs are Brian Qo (吳崑松), an expert in Hoklo (commonly
known as Taiwanese) and author of Tong Iong Taiwanese Dictionary (通用台語字典),
and Taiwanese National Party (TNP) Chairman Tsua Gim-liong (蔡金龍).

Qo said he is acting on behalf of everyone who loves the nation and wants
to protect the local cultures and Taiwan’s many mother tongues.

“We must refute the notion that Mandarin is the only official language in
Taiwan,” Qo said. “It is an illegitimate policy, designed by the Chinese
Nationalist Party [KMT] to eradicate the nation’s culture, identity and
linguistic diversity.”

Mandarin is the language of China’s Beijing area, he said, adding that it
has no link to Taiwanese, “yet it was imposed on us by force and the threat
of persecution by the authoritarian rule of the KMT during the Martial Law

Qo said it is time to end the Mandarin-only policy practiced in government,
education and judicial circles, as well as the media, most state agencies,
and most of the public and private sectors, adding that increased use of
local languages should be promoted.

Other groups supporting the litigation included Taiwan Society North,
Taiwanese National Congress, Alliance of Referendum for Taiwan,
Organization for Taiwanese National Declaration, Taiwan Human Rights and
Cultural Association, 908 Taiwan Republic Campaign and Happy National
Connections in Taiwan.

Tsua said that the KMT government has violated people’s right to cultural
identity and the right to use their mother-tongue languages, adding that it
was also a violation of several international conventions.

“After losing the Chinese Civil War, the KMT was an exile regime that fled
China and occupied Taiwan illegally,” Tsua said.

“It used totalitarian methods to silence any dissent,” he said, adding that
the litigation is also seeking a judicial review by calling into question
the legitimacy of the KMT’s Republic of China government structure and the
current use of what he labeled the KMT’s national anthem and flag.

Those three things have no legal basis and do not represent Taiwanese at
all, he said.


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