Sun, May 17, 2009 - Page 1 News List

Ma to head for Hsinchu as demonstration begins

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) will leave for Hsinchu City this afternoon, just as the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is to hold a large-scale rally against his policies in front of the Presidential Office.

In the morning, Ma will attend a job fair in Taipei organized by the Taipei City Government, which Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) will also attend. Ma will travel to Hsinchu Science Park in the afternoon.

The Presidential Office said it would station officials at the building and meet protesters if they have any requests during the rally.

In an interview with TVBS aired on Friday night, Ma said he was confident police would handle today’s protest “with the appropriate approach,” adding that he expected the rally and the sit-in protest following it to end peacefully.

Ma also promised to make changes to the government’s proposed amendments to the Assembly and Parade Act (集會遊行法), which critics say could undermine freedom of assembly.

Ma said that for the sake of public safety, it was crucial that protesters inform the authorities of their plans to hold a rally.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said last week that the Taipei City Government had loosened its regulations and would issue a road permit to any group that applies for permission to hold a rally.

Commenting on DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) criticism of the city government’s repeated calls on the party to apply for permission to occupy Ketagalan Boulevard tomorrow, Hau said the public would reach its own conclusions on the matter.


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