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Wed, Aug 01, 2001 - Page 3 News List

Elder bleeds for Lee's expulsion

SUICIDAL SENIOR Shah Konsin, an 81-year-old former ambassador and KMT party stalwart, slashed his wrist yesterday to protest the party's failure to expel Lee Teng-hui

By Crystal Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH AGENCIES

During a session of the KMT's Central Advisory Council yesterday, party elder Konsin Shah slashed his wrist to protest the party's failure to expel former party chairman Lee Teng-hui.

PHOTO: FANG PIN-CHAO, TAIPEI TIMESN

A KMT elder and former diplomat cut his wrist during a meeting yesterday to protest the party's failure to expel former party chairman Lee Teng-hui (李登輝).

The drastic move by Konsin Shah (夏功權), a former representative to the US between 1979 and 1981, took place during a meeting of the KMT Central Advisory Council.

"Many members have said they would kill themselves if the opposition camp fails to retake the presidency in two and a half years," Shah, 81, told the council, composed mainly of members who fled China after the civil war. "I may not be alive by then, so I would like to set an example today."

The octogenarian then slipped a blade out of his briefcase and slit his left wrist at the podium, saying, "Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) must unite the party and handle the proposal to expel Lee for the sake of justice."

The suicide attempt threw the assembly into disarray.

Chang Che-chen (張哲琛), head of the KMT administrative committee, quickly came to his rescue by wrapping a towel around Shah's wrist. Lien stepped forward to offer his condolences.

Shah was rushed to the nearby National Taiwan University Hospital and was in stable condition.

As before, the KMT chair declined to address the Lee issue to avoid alienating Lee supporters.

It is generally believed the DPP would not have won the presidency last year if two splinter groups, the People First Party and the New Party, had not broken away from the KMT.

In addition, some KMT mem-bers such as Shah attributed the DPP victory in part to Lee's secret backing. The alleged collusion led hundreds of grassroots members to besiege the KMT headquarters for days after the election debacle, pressing for Lee's downfall.

Shah, who received his law degree from Washington DC's Georgetown University, held several diplomatic posts, including ambassador to Uruguay and New Zealand.

Earlier, Shah and fellow member Liang Su-yung (梁肅戎) filed a joint complaint with the KMT disciplinary department, accusing Lee of betraying the party.

They cited as evidence Lee's public statements that he would stump for legislative candidates from the Taiwan Solidarity Union, formed primarily by former ranking KMT members sympathetic to the former president. Shah maintained that if Lee wasn't expelled, the KMT would collapse within two years.

Echoing Shah's apprehension, Wang Tso-yung (王作榮) urged the party to deal with Lee's treachery before it was too late.

Wang, who advised Lee to join the KMT, said he regrets the move as the biggest mistake he ever made in his life.

Ironically, the Central Advisory Council, created by Lee to appease the KMT old guard, has been the main venue for Lee-bashing.

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