Military police guarding the mausoleum of former dictator Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) at the Tzuhu Presidential Burial Place (慈湖陵寢) could be withdrawn if Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Yu Shyi-kun has his way.
Yu plans to make a proposal during the party's Central Standing Committee meeting today that the Cabinet should withdraw the guards, a DPP spokesman said.
The proposal is considered to be part of the rectification campaign the party initiated on May 11, 2002, which includes removing any words related to China in the titles of state-run enterprises and replacing them with "Taiwan."
Over the past five years, the party has been engaged in various efforts to counter the influence that Chiang has had in the country, including urging the Ministry of Defense to remove statues of him from military bases and proposing the relocation of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.
The party's Central Standing Committee urged the government last week to quicken the process of correcting the titles of state-owned corporations.
Super Meng (孟義超), director of the DPP's Department of Culture and Information, said yesterday that using national resources to manage the mausoleums did not conform to the principle of transitional justice.
Therefore, the soldiers should be withdrawn and the employment of security guards left to the Chiang family, he said.
Yu is expected to put forth the proposal after Academia Historica President Chang Hsien-yen (
In a report published by the 228 Memorial Foundation last year, Chang said that Chiang should be held responsible for the 1947 incident.
In the 228 Incident, conflict between anti-contraband officers and local people led to clashes. Military forces were called in from China, escalating the incident into a nationwide crackdown during which tens of thousands of people were arrested or killed.
Vice President Annette Lu (
"This year is the 60th anniversary of the 228 Incident," she said.
"If historical research confirms that Chiang Kai-shek was the prime culprit in the crime, we will have to reconsider spending money on protecting his mausoleum," Lu said.
However, Lu added that she disapproved of taking "drastic measures."
She did not elaborate.
Lee Hung-hsi (李鴻禧), convener of the government's New Constitution Workshop and a mentor of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), said that removing the guards was "essential during the nation's pursuit of transitional justice."
"We cannot hold Chiang Kai-shek responsible for the 228 Incident on the one hand while on the other hand regarding him as the nation's savior," he said.
Minister of National Defense Lee Jye (
"I will simply carry out government policy," he said. "The military belongs to the country, not to any specific political party or any specific individual."
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator John Chiang (
John Chiang, a son of the late president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), said he would go to Tzuhu today to pay homage to his relatives.
"If the budget for managing the mausoleum is slashed, I hope the government of Taoyuan County will be able to lend a hand," he said.
"My family at one point planned to remove the remains to the Wuchihshan Military Cemetery [in Taipei County], but we decided to not to make the move under the DPP government," he said.
"Lee Jye had told me previously that the ministry respected our [family's] decision and that the Tzuhu and Tahsi (
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