Tsai to make April 7 Freedom of Speech Day

“The next time I come up here, I hope each and every one of us can remember this day, not only as the day Cheng Nan-jung sacrificed himself and became

Tsai to make April 7th Freedom of Speech Day

“The next time I come up here, I hope each and every one of us can remember this day, not only as the day Cheng Nan-jung sacrificed himself and became

President-elect Tsai Ing-wen on Thursday attended the memorial service for Deng Nan-jung, a Taiwanese free speech campaigner, and pledged that once the new administration takes office, she will establish April 7, the day he died, as the national Freedom of Speech Day, to celebrate freedom of speech and commemorate the martyr.

Deng was a Taiwanese publisher and a pro-democracy activist, who on April 7, 1989, committed suicide by setting himself on fire instead of letting himself be arrested by the police.

Tsai was seen attending the service accompanied by Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan, Yilan County Commissioner Lin Tsung-hsien and former Taichung Mayor Chang Wen-ying Thursday.

Tsai said in her speech that without the efforts of predecessors like Deng, who paved the way for Taiwan’s democracy, she would not have been given the chance to serve the nation; even though she had never met him in her life, she wanted to remember his contribution and commemorate his spirit.

“The next time I come up here, I hope each and every one of us can remember this day, not only as the day Deng Nan-jung sacrificed himself and became a martyr, but also as the day highlighting Taiwan’s struggle for freedom of speech,” Tsai said.

To date, eight municipalities and counties in Taiwan, including Taipei, Tainan, Taichung, Kaohsiung, Yunlin, Chiayi, Pingtung and Yilan, have declared April 7 as the “Freedom of Speech Day” in order to mark respect for the democracy advocate.