Fri, Mar 03, 2006 - Page 8 News List

Letter: Ramifications of 228

Besides commemorating the 228 Incident, what other lessons can we learn from this tragedy? The atrocities committed by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) should be condemned, but the government should take more concrete actions to solve the problems left by this "systematic slaughter" and disseminate the truth more widely.

Paying compensation to the victims and their relatives, however, is not the best way to heal the wounds of this trauma. Since the recently released The 228 Incident: A Report on Responsibility confirms that Chang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and other former KMT leaders were responsible for the 228 Incident, the government should bring the party to justice as soon as possible. Only by doing so can justice be achieved.

The report, however, cannot easily influence those people brainwashed by the KMT. In order for more Taiwanese people to understand our past, the government should make an effort to promote the viewpoints of this report. One way would be to put the truth of the 228 Incident into the "Grades 1-9 Curriculum Guidelines" for students' human rights education.

The government should also let the international community know about this history. Many of my foreign friends who care about Taiwan have asked me where they can get the English translation of this report. The 228 Memorial Foundation should translate the report into English, Japanese, German and other languages. It must also update the official English Web pages relative to this event.

The 228 Incident should not be a massacre in which there were only victims but no murderers. The KMT must admit its guilt, sincerely apologize to the Taiwanese and be fairly judged.

The truth of the 228 Incident should be widely publicized so that people here and abroad will be able to understand the history of this nation based on the standpoint of Taiwanese, not that of the KMT or China.

Su Yen-pin


In 1947, after the 228 Incident, Chiang Kai-shek sent a massive number of troops from China to Taiwan to "suppress riots"; tens of thousands of the local elite were killed. This year, after the cessation of the National Unification Council (NUC) and unification guidelines was announced, Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) described Taiwan's announcement as "gravely provocative." Is history to be repeated?

The 228 Incident and the scrapping of the NUC are part of the Taiwanese struggle for freedom and democracy against first, the KMT, and second, the Chinese Communists. What makes the Taiwanese people feel sad is that many KMT members in Taiwan are helping their former enemy try to annex Taiwan. They are like "house rats biting hemp bags" (a Taiwanese metaphor).

In the late 1940s, these people fled to Taiwan to escape communism. Today, they want to import communism to Taiwan.

KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) even gets confused between Taiwan's "status quo" and his ultimate goal of unification. If he is sincere about unification, he should not run for the presidency in 2008. Ma's plan to get President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) impeached is like "a beggar trying to expel the temple owner" (another Taiwanese metaphor).

When Chen attended the 228 Memorial ceremony on Tuesday, he repeatedly asked "Have I done something wrong to announce the cessation of the NUC?" In unison, the audience shouted "No." The victims of the 228 Incident now in heaven seemed to echo the audience who were honoring them. They also shouted that they had done nothing wrong in 1947.

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