Activists yesterday clashed with police during a protest outside Premier Jiang Yi-huah’s (江宜樺) residence, asking him to halt construction work at Losheng (Happy Life) Sanatorium and rebuild demolished buildings on the site.
“Premier Jiang, please save Losheng, halt the construction, rebuild the sanatorium,” dozens of members of the Youth Alliance for Losheng shouted as they clashed with police outside the premier’s residence in Taipei.
The activists arrived outside Jiang’s residence at about 6am without prior notice, hoping to see Jiang and deliver their petition to him before he left for work.
Photo: Hou Po-ching, Taipei Times
However, though the shouting attracted the attention of Jiang, who looked out from a second-floor window for a few seconds, he neither met with the students nor took their petition.
Police quickly removed the protesters by force and arrested 14.
Jiang made no comment on the protest when he left home at about 8am.
“We came here to see Jiang, because when we went to the Executive Yuan on Feb. 27, he simply ignored us,” Lin Ching (林沁), a National Taiwan University (NTU) student and a member of the alliance, told reporters. “In March last year, the government promised that construction at Losheng Sanatorium — suspended due to landslides — would not resume until they find a way to solve the landslide issue. However, construction resumed last week.”
“As a political science professor at NTU, Jiang visited Losheng in 2007 and signed a petition to support its preservation. We want to remind him of the promise he made, and ask him to host talks to resolve the issue,” Lin said.
Losheng Sanatorium, located in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Sinjhuang District (新莊), was built in the 1930s for people with leprosy.
A movement to preserve the sanatorium complex began in 2004 when it was selected as the site for a Mass Rapid Transit system maintenance depot and was to be completely demolished.
In 2007, a compromise plan allowed for the preservation of a small part of the complex, while the rest was to be demolished.
However, work has stopped several times due to landslides.
Another NTU student, Lin Hsiu-tung (林秀芃), accused Jiang of “not wanting to face the mistakes that the government made.”
“He saw us from his second-floor window, but would not meet us or speak with us,” Lin said.
Of the 14 students arrested, 13 were released soon after, while 21-year-old NTU student Kuo Kuan-chun (郭冠均) was charged with violations of the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法).
Several activists rallied outside the Taipei District Court in support of Kuo and accused the police of brutality as Kuo appeared in court.
At about 4:30pm, Kuo walked free as the judge cleared him of any wrongdoing.
Citigroup Inc plans to exit retail banking in 13 markets across Asia, and the region of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The bank would instead operate its consumer-banking franchise in both regions from four wealth centers in Singapore, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and London, it said yesterday in a statement. The move is part of an ongoing review of the company’s strategy by chief executive officer Jane Fraser, who took over last month. “This positions us to capture the strong growth and attractive returns the wealth-management business offers through these important hubs,” Fraser said. Citigroup is to exit its consumer
‘IMPORTANT PARTNER’: The new guidelines aim to encourage US engagement with Taiwan, which reflects a deepening relationship, the US Department of State said The US Department of State on Friday issued new guidelines governing US officials’ interactions with their Taiwanese counterparts, a move welcomed by Taipei as turning a new page in bilateral relations. Shortly before leaving office, then-US secretary of state Mike Pompeo on Jan. 9 announced the cancelation of previous contact guidelines, which he said were “self-imposed restrictions” that attempted to appease the Chinese Communist Party regime in Beijing. However, the status of the guidelines has been unclear since US President Joe Biden entered the White House. Asked about the issue during a legislative session on Thursday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu
CONFIDENTIAL: The trip had not been made public until just before ex-senator Chris Dodd, and ex-state department officials Richard Armitage and James Steinberg arrived The government yesterday welcomed an “unofficial” delegation sent by US President Joe Biden, while another delegation led by US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry was headed to Shanghai. Biden’s first delegation to Taiwan is made up of former US senator Chris Dodd, and former US deputy secretaries of state Richard Armitage and James Steinberg. They are to stay in Taiwan until tomorrow. Their arrival, on a chartered flight, had been kept confidential until media reported the visit yesterday morning, after which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a short notice that they were expected to arrive at 2:40pm. The flight landed at
‘IDEAL FIT’: A report on Sunday said that the Canadian government threatened to pull its support and funding from the HFX if the award was given to the president The government would respect the decision of the organizer of the John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service on whether it plans to award a prize to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday. The statement was issued after US Web site Politico reported a day earlier that the Canadian government had warned the Halifax International Security Forum (HFX) not to give the award to Tsai for fear of provoking Beijing. “The ministry believes that if the Halifax International Security Forum confers the prize upon President Tsai, it would be an affirmation and honor for both