Mon, Jan 24, 2000 - Page 1 News List

Thousands attend rite for Huang

FAREWELL The late Huang Hsin-chieh, a political heavyweight lauded as one of the prime architects of Taiwan's democratic movement, was given a heartfelt farewell at a funeral service yesterday

By Monique Chu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Huang Hsin-chieh (黃信介), a former chairman of the DPP lauded as one of the major figures behind the nation's democratic movement, was eulogized yesterday during a funeral service in Taipei. Huang died Nov. 30 of a heart attack. He was 72.

The funeral service, organized by the DPP, was held in a large parking lot in the Shihlin district of Taipei yesterday morning.

Around 2,000 people attended the service, according to police estimates. Among those attending were President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), Vice President Lien Chan(連戰) and high-ranking officials from the DPP, the KMT, the New Party and the Taiwan Independence Party.

Officials from government agencies and local government bodies also attended the funeral service.

DPP Chairman Lin I-hsiung (林義雄) led the public memorial ceremony, with four of Huang's longtime partners in the democracy movement -- Shih Ming-teh (施明德), Chen-chu (陳菊), Chiang Peng-chien (江鵬堅) and Yao Chia-wen (姚嘉文) -- placing a DPP party flag atop Huang's coffin.

Several DPP stalwarts gave eulogies, with many in attendance weeping openly while listening to the speeches.

Chang Chun-hung (張俊宏), in a eulogy titled "The Loss of a Democratic Giant," said Huang was a political heavyweight who never claimed credit for his many contributions to the nation's development.

Shih said Huang was one of the prime architects of Taiwan's political reform movement that gave the nation the democratic system it now enjoys.

"Although we were saddened by Huang's death, the people of this country should feel high-spirited, just like today's clear blue skies and sunshine," Shih said.

Shih also said that while Huang never reached the summit on the "stage of political power," he would be remembered as an important figure in the nation's history.

In another eulogy, DPP presidential candidate Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) -- who also served as a defense lawyer for Huang 20 years ago following the Kaohsiung Incident (美麗島事件) -- said he hoped the younger generations would follow in Huang's footsteps in his love for Taiwan and democracy.

In a political career that spanned more than 50 years, Huang was a major figure behind Taiwan's transition from martial law to democracy.

As head of the DPP, Huang helped push for various national political reforms.

He also had the honor of being the first DPP chairman invited into the Presidential Office to have direct discussions with President Lee.

In a tip of the hat to the DPP chairman, Lee often said that Huang's election campaign speeches introduced him to various democratic ideas and concepts.

During the funeral service yesterday, Chen read a poem dedicated to Huang, likening Huang to a tree forever growing in the nation's soil.

"Although he has passed away, he would surely less Taiwan, our motherland, to ensure that Taiwan's springtime will soon approach," Chen said.

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