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Thu, Aug 23, 2001 - Page 2 News List

Foundation to keep fighting for 228 Memorial Museum

By Irene lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taiwan Peace Foundation (TPF, 台灣和平基金會) said yesterday that it was determined to keep fighting -- even after the Administrative High Court recently rejected its suit against the Taipei City Government.

Iap Phok Bun (葉博文), executive-general of the foundation, said yesterday the TPF will not give up the legal battle against the Taipei City Government, which specifically campaigned to end the foundation's control of the Taipei 228 Memorial Museum (二二八紀念館).

"We can say little about the defeat. But it confused me that the court tilted so much toward the city government while ignoring a lot of evidence and testimony that we had presented," Iap complained.

The 228 Museum was established in 1997 on the 50th anniversary of the 228 Incident, while Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was mayor of Taipei City. It was set up as a memorial to the 228 Incident, which is the name given to a series of violent demonstrations that began Feb. 28, 1947 and prompted a bloody crackdown against native Taiwanese by KMT-led troops.

The private-sector TPF was then contracted to manage the museum as the first city-owned, privately-managed museum until February last year.

Months before termination of the contract a fierce fight began between the foundation and the city's Bureau of Cultural Affairs, the caretaker of the museum. The bureau accused the foundation of financial irregularities and threatened to check the museum's books.

At the time, critics said the cancellation was clearly an ethnic dispute -- a clash between the foundation's pro-Taiwan ideology and bureau head Lung Ying-tai's (龍應台) "greater China bias."

When the foundation elected a new president, Lee Ming-yung (李敏勇), on Feb. 15 last year, the Taipei City Government refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the election.

The TPF has protested that the decision has ideological implications and sought to overturn the case through court proceedings.

The city government claims that the decision was a result of procedural flaws committed by the board members who met on the day of voting.

On Aug. 15 an Administrative High Court overruled TPF's suit, maintaining that the city government's decision was correct.

The court found that TPF's former president, Liao Teh-cheng (廖德政), had notified the city government the day before the election that he did not call the meeting. Also, the minutes of the day did not specify who had called the meeting, which is a breach of the organizational regulations of the foundation.

The court judged that these flaws weakened the legitimacy of resolutions passed in the meeting and thus it was reasonable for the city government to consider the election of the new president as null and void.

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