The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is mobilizing members who hold public office to participate in a sit-in outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei on Tuesday to support former DPP chairman Lin I-hsiung (林義雄) when he starts fasting to protest the continuing construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮).
The sit-in is scheduled to begin at 3pm on Tuesday to coincide with Lin’s planned start to his hunger strike earlier in the day, the DPP said after a meeting on Friday.
The demonstration is set to run from 9am to 6pm every day until Friday, the party said, adding that it also plans to hold discussions on site with experts and representatives from non-governmental organizations on nuclear energy and environmental policies.
The sit-in is to be followed by a road-running event on Saturday, also dedicated to the anti-nuclear movement, DPP spokesman Xavier Chang (張惇涵) said.
The series of events are part of the party’s anti-nuclear energy initiatives, after Lin announced his hunger strike calling on the government to halt the Gongliao plant’s construction, Chang said.
Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) has said he that hopes Lin, a political figure the premier said he holds in high regard, will abandon his “self-harming” method of protest and voice his opposition to the power plant via a “normal” channel instead.
Meanwhile, DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) yesterday said the party is willing to hold talks with high-ranking government and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) officials to discuss ways to resolve the controversy over the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.
“It is time to hold a national dialogue between the KMT and the DPP to end the controversy over the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, which has lasted 30 years and has become a symbol of confrontation between the two parties,” Ker told a press conference in Taipei.
“Let’s talk,” he said, adding that he has asked KMT caucus whip Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) to convey the DPP’s message to “the top five government and KMT officials,” — President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), Jiang, National Security Council Secretary-General King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) and KMT Secretary-General Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權).
Separately yesterday, former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said it is worth considering a dialogue between the pan-green and the pan-blue camps over the nuclear facility’s construction, but added that “the main point hinges on the ruling party being sincere in carrying out such talks.”
She said that members of the public have often felt that, when it comes to Ma, sincerity is an issue and that many people see a lot of political calculation behind everything the president does.
“Many hope that after the Sunflower movement, Ma has engaged in introspection and is learning how to listen to the many different voices from the public,” she said. “If Ma retains his previous attitude, there’s not much to look forward to even if the opposition and the public are sincere in having dialogue with the president.”