Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Statement by THRAC Executive, December 15, 2012

The Taiwanese Human Rights Association of Canada wishes to express our support and admiration for students in Taiwan who are leading the fight against media monopoly by a pro-China ownership group. We call on regulators in Taiwan to reject this takeover by Tsai Eng-meng's cartel. The domination of Taiwan's media by a pro-Chinese ownership has frightening implications for the future of Taiwan and should be of grave concern to all supporters of freedom of speech. THRAC is following the situation and is willing to respond to any specific calls to action.


Executive of the Taiwanese Human Rights Association of Canada (THRAC)

Michael Stainton
So Cheng-hian
Austin Yan
Nick Chen
Scott Simon

Saturday, December 01, 2012

THRAC receives reply on October appeal asking MP's to show concern for Chen Shui-bian

Mark Adler, Conservative MP for York Centre (Michael Stainton's riding) has sent a more or less "official line" reply to our appeal for Canadian MP's to speak out on Chen Shui-bian's imprisonment. The letter appears to reflect the official DFAIT position - we are watching the situation -  so is of interest. It is disappointing that, to our knowledge, and in contrast to several American congressmen, not a single Canadian MP of the almost 30 MP's and Senators THRAC contacted, actually wrote a letter as we urged."
2012-11-29 Medical Parole ROC President Correspondence

THRAC supports global appeal for Tibet

THRAC has added its name as a co-signer of a letter of appeal to world leaders calling for them to take action on the growing crisis in Tibet. The appeal was  proposed by Sheng Xue, President of the Federation for a Democratic China, a global alliance of Chinese pro-democracy organisations, in solidarity with Tibetans. The appeal will be sent to the United Nations, the European Union, Members of Parliaments and Governments, and NGOs for human rights, calling on the international community, as well as individual countries and NGOs, to send independent investigation teams to Tibet, to investigate the cause of self-immolations in Tibet, and the true situation in Tibet. THRAC will assist in sending a version of this letter to Canadian members of parliament and senators. Two links to Tibetan news services have been added to our links on the right-hand side of this page.
Tibet Appeal

Sunday, November 18, 2012

THRAC participates in China Rights Network Press Conference on Chinese Communist Party leadership changes

On November 8 THRAC President Michael Stainton took part in a press conference in front of Queens Park by members of the China Rights Network, under the leadership of Sheng Xue, President of the Federation for a Democratic China.  In his remarks Michael Stainton commented on possible implications for Taiwan of leadership changes in China. He opined that there would be no change in current policies of managing the status quo, because these polices had been successful in  pushing Taiwan even closer to China, creating a growing economic and political dependency that continues to move the 'status quo" in China's direction. For the present China has bigger fish to catch in staking its territorial claims in the sea areas and islets in the South China Sea and around the Senkaku Islands. Keeping Taiwan drifting into China's arms while effectively "Finlandizing" Taiwan  in relation to other disputes in the area will well serve China's strategic interests, so its current policies towards Taiwan will continue.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Responds to THRAC/TCA Appeal on Taiwan Membership in WHO

In May 2012 THRAC and the TCA wrote a joint letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Health asking their support for Taiwan's participation in the WHO under the name Taiwan and to speak out against the attempt by the WHO secretariat to impose the name "Taiwan province of China" on Taiwan in all WHO usage. In October we finally received a reply from Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird: Baird Letter on Taiwan in WHO

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

THRAC and TCA present petition for Chen Shui-bian medical parole to TECO Toronto

On October 11, TCA President Edward Chung, THRAC President Michael Stainton, and other leaders of Taiwanese organizations in Toronto, many of whom are also THRAC members, presented two letters of protest to Director General of TECO Toronto, Winston Chen. The two letters call for medical parole for Chen Shui-bian, and protest against the change in the English name of the Overseas compatriots Affairs Commission to "Overseas Chinese ..." . A petition with several hundred signatures calling for medical parole for A-bian was also given to him. Director General Chen promised to faithfully transmit all these to their addressee - ROC President Ma.

Michael Stainton presenting petitions and letter to Ma Ying-jiu asking for medical parole for Chen Shui-bian to Director general of TECO Toronto Chen Wen-Yi on October 11, 2012:

The letters are attached: 1011 呼籲陳前總統保外就醫 v1 Letter to Ma Re OCAC v1

The two videos (below) are Edward Chung and Michael Stainton's exchange with Director General Chen.

http://www.taiwanus.net/news/press/2012/201210122343171637.htm (台灣海外網) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFJ6Hi9OdDA&feature=youtu.be

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Appeal to MPs for Former President Chen to get Medical Parole

THRAC and TCA have sent this letter jointly to Members of Parliament who have visited Taiwan. We encourage THRAC members to send their own email to their MP, using the following as a template:

Appeal to MPs for Former President Chen to get Medical Parole

Monday, May 14, 2012

THRAC Executive Meets , Assigns Leadership Roles

The THRAC Executive elected at the March 10 Annual Meeting finally met in person on May 4th.
We divided up the work as follows:

President - Michael Stainton
Vice President & Secretary - Austin Yan
Treasurer - Su Cheng-hsuan (and Taiwan Media Watch)
Membership - N.L.
Webmaster - Nick Chen
Political Relations - Scott Simon

We decided to open a THRAC facebook page, which our webmaster has now set up. Go there and "Like" us! We hope it will be a place members and friends of THRAC can share news and views on our human rights concerns.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

THRAC Letter on the A-Bian Situation

Dear THRAC members,

Below are the English and Chinese language versions of the letter which you , as members of THRAC, sent to President Ma yesterday. We express our deep concern about the conditions under which he is held, their impact on his health, and urge President Ma to pardon him. We shall continue to pursue this concern.

You can always add your own personal letter to this, and write President Ma and the Minister of Justice Tseng Yung-fu at the following addresses. You can also send a card or letter of support to A-bian in prison.

Eng Letter on a-Bian Situation Mar 19 Letterhead

Contact Information:

總統 馬英九


President Ma Ying-jeou
Office of the President
Republic of China (Taiwan)
No. 122, Sec. 1, Chongqing S. Rd.,
Taipei 10048, Taiwan (ROC)

President's Website:http://www.president.gov.tw/ - you can use the "contact us" button on this website to send an email message

Minister of Justice Tseng Yung-Fu
法務部, 台北市, 重慶南路一段130號
Taipei 10048 Taiwan

You can write to Chen Shui Bian at this Taipei Prison address:

No.2 , HongDe New Village, GueiShan Siang, Taoyuan County, Taiwan 33307
33307, 台灣桃園縣龜山鄉宏德新村2號 , 陳水扁

Monday, March 19, 2012

THRAC 2012 Annual Meeting

THRAC New Executive Committee

The THRAC Annual Meeting on March 10 was attended by about 60 people. The new executive committee list of nominees was elected, but we failed to obtain a  successful nominations for an additional women member. The annual meeting  empowered the Executive Committee to add an additional woman member when such a candidate is found.  The new Executive Committee has not yet met to assign specific responsibilities to members. The members are:

Nick Chen 陳孟廷 Nick has been an active  member of THRAC since 2010 and was service team leader for the March 10 events.  He is graduating from McMaster in Biochemical Engineering in April.  New member.

N.L. – N. has been a member of Amnesty International since 2008 where she helped organize various human rights campaigns. Through her participation in Formosa Foundation training programs, N. gained great experience in working for Taiwan and human rights. New member

Dr. Scott Simon (in Ottawa) – Scott is  professor of sociology and anthropology at University of Ottawa, and director of the University of Ottawa Taiwan Studies Program. New member.

Rev. Michael Stainton Michael has been a member of THRAC since 1992 and President since 2007.  

So Cheng-hian 蘇正玄 Cheng-hian has been a member of THRAC since 1992 and served on the board for many years. He does all of THRAC’s Chinese statements and translation work.

Austin Yan 顏立哲 – Austin has been on the THRAC board for the past two years, serving as vice-president and and MC during the annual meetings. He’s a McMaster University student in his third year of studies, and developed THRAC’s website.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

THRAC Annual Meeting Notices

The THRAC Annual Meeting will be coming up on March 10, 2012. The dinner (which includes your THRAC membership fee) is $40 for adults and $25 for students, and will follow our Workshop on "Working for Taiwan and Human Rights"! See the notices below:

Invite your friends!
2012 AGM English 2012AGM Chinese

Thursday, February 16, 2012

THRAC Workshop and Annual Meeting

The THRAC Annual Meeting will be held on March 10, 2012, at Newtonbrook United Church.
Alongside this event, we're excited to hold a full-day workshop:

 "Working for Taiwan and Human Rights".
維護人權 ! 講出台灣

Click here for more details.
Sign up for the workshop on EventBrite
Sign up for both events using this form.
Contact us at thracanada@gmail.com if you have any questions!

Friday, February 10, 2012

ICFET Election Observers

ICFET, the International Committee for Fair Elections in Taiwan, has several updated statements. You can see their recent news at http://www.taiwanelections.org/category/icfet/icfet-news/.

Canadian Members on the International Election Observation Team were Bill Blakie, Susan Henders, David Kilgour, Peter Noteboom, Reuben Noteboom, Ted Siverns, Michael Stainton, and Lois Wilson.

Below are some videos from their time in Taiwan:

Lois Wilson speaking at Taipei Justice Action Church (January 15)

Bill Blakie Speaking at the January 12 Banquet

Dr. Pete Noteboom & Mr. Reuben Noteboom speaking at Taipei Justice Action Church (Jan. 15)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Some post-election links

Check up on the International Committee for Fair Elections in Taiwan at

Their preliminary review, titled "Taiwan Elections 2012: Mostly free but partly unfair" can be read at http://www.taiwanelections.org/2012/01/15/taiwan-elections-2012-mostly-free-but-partly-unfair/.

Lastly, here's a nice article that interviewed some young Taiwanese-American voters that went back last week. http://www.lowellsun.com/todaysheadlines/ci_19765387#.TxbJsicaQFo.facebook

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

THRAC President Michael Stainton leading Canadian Election Observation Group to Taiwan

THRAC President Michael Stainton will be in Taiwan to observe the January 14 election, leading a 6-person Canadian Election Observer Group, invited by the Independent Committee for a Fair Election in Taiwan (臺灣公正選舉國際委員會 http://www.taiwanelections.org/).

Escorting the group in Taiwan  will be the founer of THRAC's predecessor, Dr. Albert Lin (林哲夫) and Sophia Lin (郭哲欽). Michael Tsai (蔡明憲) will also be with them. In 2009 THRAC issued a statement supporting Michael Tsai when the KMT threatened to charge him with leaking state secrets.

With Rev. Stainton will be Hon. Bill Blaikie (former NDP MP and Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons), Dr. Susan Henders (Director of the York University Centre for Asian Studies); Dr. Peter Noteboom, (Deputy General-Secretary of the Canadian Council of Churches); Rev. Ted Siverns (Former Dean, Vancouver School of Theology); and Right Rev. Dr. Lois Wilson (former Senator, former President of World Council of Churches and Moderator of the United Church of Canada). Peter Noteboom's son, Reuben, will also accompany the group. 

Michael will TRY to do an election blog here from January 10 to January 18.