For Immediate Release
February 11 ,
passing of Congressman Tom Lantos -- 1928-2008
The Formosan Association for Public
Affairs (FAPA) is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of
Congressman Tom Lantos, who died today at Bethesda Naval Medical
During the past decades, Congressman
Lantos was a close friend of the Taiwanese-American community
and of Taiwan.
His strong support for human rights
and democracy around the world led him to work in support of
Taiwan's fight for human rights, democracy and international
acceptance. In 1995 he played a key role in the visit of then
President Lee Teng-hui to his alma mater, Cornell. When former
President Lee -- after he stepped down from office -- was
finally able to visit Washington in October 2005, he made it a
point to pay a visit to his old friend Tom Lantos.
In the House, Congressman Lantos
took many initiatives in support of Taiwan. He initiated
resolutions in support of Taiwan's membership in the United
Nations and the World Health Organization, and in 2005 spoke out
strongly against the EU's lifting of the arms embargo against
China. In the summer of 2007 -- as Chair of the House Foreign
Affairs Committee -- he ensured passage of Resolution HCR-136,
urging the Bush Administration to lift restrictions on the
visits to the US by high-level democratically-elected leaders of
Taiwan. It passed unanimously.
Until the very end, Congressman
Lantos worked energetically to support Taiwan: just before
Christmas 2007, he and the ranking member of the House Foreign
Affairs Committee Ileana Ros Lehtinen (R-FL) introduced HCR-278,
expressing support for Taiwan's democracy and security by
encouraging international delegations to visit Taiwan to witness
the upcoming March 2008 presidential elections.
The Taiwanese-American community and
the people of Taiwan will dearly miss him.
wish his family, in particular his wife Annette and two
daughters, much strength
in the difficult time ahead.