Tsai: we must not go silent on Syrian refugee crisis

Chairperson calls for relief efforts

Tsai: we must do our part to help Syrian refugees

Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen called for the government Sunday to initiate a humanitarian mission to help the tragic plight of Syrian refugees as a result of the war that has plagued the Middle-East nation since 2011.

Tsai posted a comment on social media after learning the story of a young Syrian boy whose body was found lying face-down on a beach near the Turkish resort of Bodrum earlier this week.

“Many innocent lives have been lost as a result of the bitter reality of war. We must act now in support of these refugees,” Tsai commented on her Facebook page.

The shocking picture of a dark-haired toddler wearing a bright-red T-shirt and shorts shook the world on Wednesday as his lifeless body was found laying on a beach in Turkey. According to international news outlets, 12 people died after two boats carrying a total of 23 people capsized after setting off separately from the Akyarlar area of the Bodrum peninsula. Among the dead were five children and a woman.

As the Syrian war continues to drag on between various factions, more than 11 million people have been displaced in the country, of which 4 million have become refugees in neighboring countries, according to statistics by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

“As a member of the global society, Taiwan should not go silent on international humanitarian efforts,” Tsai said.

The DPP chairperson called for the government to extend a helping hand to help the plight of Syrian refugees, either through official or non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

“Owing to our past experiences in international humanitarian efforts, we have the means and capability to contribute our assistance to Syrian refugees,” she concluded.