Sun, Feb 27, 2005 - Page 1 News List

Lu says 228 murderers should pay

FACING JUSTICE The vice president said that there were many people who were responsible for the bloodshed that have not answered for their crimes

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday called for a further investigation into the 228 Incident, and insisted that there are many murderers who have yet to be punished.

"[Former president] Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) should take the political and historical responsibility for the 228 Incident. For Taiwan's part, then-governor of Taiwan Chen Yi (陳儀) should be the one who bears the onus for the tragedy," Lu said. "If Chen hadn't provided the intelligence, Chiang wouldn't have made such a decision."

According to Lu, there were many people involved in the tragedy, however, compiling such a list will require further investigation.

The vice president made her remarks during the grand opening ceremony of the presentation of a report by historians on the 228 Incident yesterday morning. The research was conducted by eight history and law professors, and the 228 Incident Memorial Foundation (二二八事件紀念基金會) is planning to publish the work in June.

Lu said that 1947 was a year of tragedy for Taiwan, and every citizen should learn the lessons of history, restore the facts and keep them in mind.

"We hold ceremonies for the 228 Incident every year, but history is gradually being forgotten," Lu said. "Just last year, I remember on TV a teenager said that he thought the 228 Incident was about the US army attacking Taiwan."

"This is not what we want. Feb. 28 is not a day just for people to hold bouquets, sing songs and light candles together. It is a day to commemorate those who died for Taiwan on Feb. 28, 1947," she said.

Lu said that it is important to research and study the 228 Incident and pass the findings and documents on to our children, because it used to be forbidden to talk about the incident, which was an important part of Taiwan's history.

"We do not want to rub salt in the wounds of victims' family members, but it is definitely necessary for us to seek the truth and pass it on to our children," Lu said.

The 228 Incident took place more than 50 years ago, when then-chief executive officer of the Taiwan Provincial Government Chen Yi was sent to take over Taiwan from Japan after World War II.

On Feb. 27, 1947, while confiscating smuggled cigarettes on Yenping N. Road in Taipei City, Monopoly Bureau personnel injured a female vendor and mistakenly killed a bystander, inciting a mass demonstration.

The public asked Chen for a response to the incident. Chen, however, soothed the public with lies while asking for military assistance from Chiang, then-chairman of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government in Nanking.

Chiang sent the KMT's 21st Division to Taiwan on March 8, imposed martial law and began executing anyone who refused to "cooperate" with the government.

In addition to being critical of the KMT government of the time, history professor Chen Yi-shen (陳儀深) also gave credit to three important Control Yuan members who were sent to Taiwan to conduct an investigation: Chiu Nien-tai (丘念台), Yang Liang-kuang (楊亮功) and Liu Wen-dao (劉文島).

"According to the documents they sent to Chiang, they honestly reported the real situation in Taiwan, and suggested that the government's decision of a military operation was the wrong decision," Chen Yi-shen said. "Unfortunately, their advice and suggestions were not seriously considered."

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