Thu, Mar 09, 2017 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTER ]

Statue and sovereignty

A public statue is a symbol of a person’s outstanding achievement, performance, ability, character or reputation that earned people’s respect. Some statutes sit or stand inside a hall. Those statues, erected while that person was still alive, can be removed when they die, and those erected after they die can be kept as a reminder for a long time.

In modern history, kingdoms were overthrown by revolutionaries, and dictators have been ousted by democrats, and so were their statues.

On Dec. 12, 1978, mobs of angry youths went on a rampage in Isfahan, Iran, pulling down statues of then-shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The riots broke out at the end of a day of peaceful, but undisciplined, demonstrations against the shah. On Jan. 17, 1979, he was forced to leave Iran, the Iranian monarchy was formally abolished and Reza Pahlavi died in exile in Egypt on July 27, 1980.

Former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein formally rose to power in 1979 and was widely condemned for the brutality of his dictatorship. The total number of Iraqis killed by his security services during various purges and genocides is unknown, but the lowest estimate is 250,000.

Saddam invaded Kuwait on Aug. 2, 1990, and sparked the Gulf War. On April 9, 2003, a group of Iraqi civilians attacked Saddam’s statue and helped by US Marines, it was toppled.

Former Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin murdered 61.91 million people and was gifted a monument on his 70th birthday, Dec. 18, 1949, by Hungarians. It was torn down on Oct. 23, 1956, by enraged anti-Soviet crowds in Budapest during the Hungarian Revolution.

Mao Zedong (毛澤東) murdered 35.24 million people during his term of power. Since his party, the Chinese Communist Party is still in power his statues are standing still in China. However, a giant golden statue of Mao was torn down in Henan Province on Jan. 8 last year.

Adolf Hitler murdered 20.95 million people during his Nazi regime. He is essentially persona non grata in Germany. No one would want to honor him, so there are no official statues of Hitler in Germany.

Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) murdered 10.21 million people under his depraved Nationalist Regime in China and tens of thousands of people in Taiwan. He was expelled from China by Mao in 1949, so Chiang’s statue cannot be seen in China. Unfortunately, after he escaped to Taiwan he built his dictatorship and there were nearly 43,000 statues of him nationwide, from parks to schools to military bases and national memorial halls.

What a shame. Why is a devil still worshiped in Taiwan?

Tuesday last week marked the 70th anniversary of the 228 Massacre in which about 28,000 Taiwanese were killed in the weeks following the 1947 uprising, and tens of thousands were murdered during the White Terror era.

Chiang was an evil devil, killer, executioner and dictator. He is not appreciated in Taiwan by Taiwanese. His statues should be pulled down and demolished. Some statues have been removed since 1999, but there is still a giant statue of him sitting firmly in the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.

Yes, Chiang ’s statue should be removed, so why does it still sit in his memorial hall? Chiang was authorized by late US general Douglas MacArthur to militarily occupy Taiwan for the allies on Sept. 2, 1945, but Chiang fled to Taiwan as a political refugee in 1949.

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