Wed, Oct 26, 2011 - Page 1 News List

Political victims form alliance for Tsai

TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE:Groups representing victims of the 228 Massacre and the White Terror era said they hoped Tsai would prioritize human rights if she is elected

By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Supporters greet Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen, center, as she arrives at the launch in Taipei yesterday of a campaign support group set up for her by four associations of political victims.

Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

Victims of political persecution and their families yesterday voiced support for Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), while expressing the hope that she would pursue transitional justice if she is elected in January’s presidential election.

An alliance of four major associations of political victims consisting of victims of the 228 Massacre and the White Terror era announced the formation of a booster club for the DPP’s presidential candidate at a press conference.

The younger generation should be grateful to those who sacrificed their youth, bodies and even lives for the democratization of Taiwan, Tsai told about 300 victims and their families.

“History should be remembered. Those who should be held accountable for their mistakes should be identified. However, it will not be done for the purpose of retaliation nor for revenge,” Tsai said, adding that the White Terror era would not be repeated if Taiwanese safeguard their democracy and sovereignty.

Transitional justice was not fully carried out during the previous DPP administration, Taiwan Association of University Professors president Chang Yen-hsien (張炎憲) told the press conference.

Victims were disappointed that “perpetrators were not identified and held accountable, even though they [victims] were compensated by the government,” Chang said.

“We support Tsai Ing-wen because we hope that Taiwan will be a country of human rights and justice under her leadership,” Chang said.

Noting that yesterday was Retrocession Day, a national holiday to mark the takeover of Taiwan by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government, former presidential adviser Peng Ming-min (彭明敏) said it was a meaningful day to establish Tsai’s booster club.

“The January election will not only have an impact on the current generation, but future generations as well,” he said.

In related news, Tsai’s first autobiography hit the shelves nationwide yesterday after a seven-day pre-order period.

The book, titled From Scrambled Eggs with Onions to Little Ing Lunchboxes — The Life Experiences of Tsai Ing-wen (洋蔥炒蛋到小英便當,蔡英文的人生滋味), was made available through online retailers on Oct. 18.

Tsai described how her life has changed after seeing three people — a DPP supporter in his 70s, DPP spokesperson Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) and Tsing Hua University professor Yao Jen-to (姚人多) — in tears after the DPP’s loss in the 2008 presidential race.

That experience on the night of March 22, 2008, reminded her that it was time to take responsibility for the good of the party and the country, she wrote, adding that it was also one of the primary reasons she decided to run for the leadership of the DPP.

Micro-donations from hundreds of thousands of supporters are the source of her growing confidence as well as a reminder of the enormous expectations Taiwanese have for the DPP, she wrote.

“The silent faith of these people is one big reason why I will work hard for the Taiwanese and this country,” she wrote.

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