Sat, Feb 28, 2009 - Page 1 News List

Kaohsiung to host 228 memorial ceremony

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

A ceremony will be held to commemorate the 62nd anniversary of the 228 Incident at the Kaohsiung Museum of History today.

Traffic control measures will be implemented in the neighborhood around the museum, the Kaohsiung City Government said yesterday.

No vehicles will be allowed to enter the area east and south of Dayong Road, west of Hedong Road and north of Daren Road between 9:30am and 11:30am today, the city government said.

The museum will also be closed between 9am and noon.

Amid media speculation that families of the victims of the massacre were planning to throw shoes at President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) during the ceremony, Kaohsiung Deputy Mayor Lee Yung-te (李永得) urged participants at the ceremony to behave rationally.

But he also promised to fully guarantee freedom of speech.

Feb. 28, or 228, is a national holiday that commemorates the 228 Incident, a massacre that took place in 1947 when Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) troops suppressed an anti-government uprising, leaving tens of thousands dead, missing or imprisoned.

Newspapers reported on Feb. 16 that families of massacre victims may follow the example of Iraqi journalist Muntader al-Zaidi, who famously threw a shoe at former US president George W. Bush last December, by throwing shoes at Ma during the memorial service.

The city’s Bureau of Cultural Affairs said members of victims’ families at today’s service would come from Changhua, Chiayi and southern Taiwan.

Meanwhile, in Taipei, during the legislature’s national affairs forum yesterday morning, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wong Chin-chu (翁金珠) urged Ma to imitate former German chancellor Willy Brandt’s famous “knee fall” and apologize for the incident.

On Dec. 7, 1970, Brandt fell to his knees in front of the monument commemorating victims killed by German soldiers in the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

KMT caucus secretary-general Yang Chiung-ying (楊瓊瓔), however, urged politicians to stop inciting ethnic conflict each year when Feb. 28 approaches.

Also See: EDITORIAL: 228: Vigilance still has a role to play

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