Tue, Mar 14, 2006 - Page 1 News List

DPP legislators back revision of military song lyrics

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Three Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators yesterday backed the removal of obsolete lyrics from military songs, which they say blur the distinction between the government and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). They also proposed revising related laws to ban the use of national symbols by political parties.

Dressed in military uniforms, DPP legislators Cheng Kuo-chung (鄭國忠), Tang Huo-shen (湯火聖) and Lin Kuo-ching (林國慶) held a news conference at the Legislative Yuan to advocate a campaign for correcting the military songs and anthems that perpetuate the idea that "the [KMT] and the state are one and the same."

The Ministry of National Defense recently decided to change one phrase of the military academy school anthems from "the party flag is flying" to "the national flag is flying." That decision drew criticism from KMT Legislator Shuai Hua-min (帥化民), who strongly criticized this action for being akin to "forgetting one's origins."

But the three DPP legislators gave the thumb's up to the ministry's decision, and suggested holding a contest to solicit up-to-date lyrics for military songs.

Cheng said that military school songs still use phrases like "win back China" and "consolidate Chinese souls with blood," which represent out-of-date thinking. Moreover, many government departments, including fire and police departments, still use the KMT's party emblems as their symbols, Cheng said.

Cheng said that removing out-of-date lyrics simply discards distorted views so that the songs match modern-day realities.

"If the military must sing, it should sing the songs with words that identify with the country -- otherwise people who sing these songs might have the impression that Taiwan still belongs to the KMT," Cheng said.

Cheng also suggested holding a contest to solicit brand-new military songs that would enhance soldiers' sense of responsibility and identification with Taiwan. He also urged the Ministry of Interior Affairs to amend the National Emblem Law (國徽法) in order to ban the use of the country's national flag and emblems by political parties.

"I once again call on the KMT to wake up from its dream of recovering the party-state," Cheng added.

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