Peace in the Bashi Region (Philippines-Taiwan territorial conflict)

7 May 2013

Dear President Ma, you deserve admiration for your persistence and firm commitment to seek justice for the unfortunate death of your fisherman. However please likewise observe justice towards Filipino people who has nothing to do with the incident. To let others suffer would be another great injustice. As you compel our government to take full responsibility of the situation, please likewise take action and full responsibility regarding the action of your fishermen who wantonly enters Philippine waters, specifically municipal waters in the northernmost province. Once again please monitor the illegal activities of your fishermen grossly committed in the Northern Province (Batanes, Babuyan Islands) of the Philippines, which is clearly not part of the disputed waters. (1) Everyday, tons of Tuna, Blue Marlins etc. are taken from our Marine areas, (2) they engage in pouching of endangered marine species, like green turtle, shells and clams, (3) They land illegally on the northern Islands and gather endemic species of plants (4) They fish using dynamite, cyanide and fine nets sometimes in our municipal Marine Sanctuaries (5) They also engage in coral fishing, wiping out some pristine coral reefs in the area. (6)They bully local fishermen in the Northern Province, chasing them and threatening to ram their small fishing boats.

The people of the North look into Taiwan with great respect. They also take it as a pride that the people of Lanyu (Taiwan’s province) are their blood relatives, speaking the same language and of the same ancestry. However, anger often sparks when Taiwanese fishermen invade their municipal fishing grounds, their major source of living. For several times our common culture had served as bedrock of our relationship, people to people cooperation (Lanyu-Batanes), may it once again bring us closer together as we find a solution equally beneficial to both Filipinos and Taiwanese, and most especially for the people in the Bashic region.

Peace and stability in the Northern region is possible only if both sides will take responsibility over the actions of its own people. So much politics has put the tension into fragile level. But if only compassion, and respect for each and everyone is put on with primacy, there will be no such conflict as of now.

The current conflict is for politicians and diplomats to solve, however I think it should not put unnecessary suffering to people who has nothing to do with it but are only after for the simple fact that they want to earn decently for their family. Let the long arm of justice reach for those that should be held responsible, but let loose, free and safe those who have no hands on it.

Thank you and I strongly believe that the issue of the overlapping border in the north can be best solve taking into consideration the strong cultural links of the Bashic people, and for sometime softening or even putting aside politics.

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