Former DPP chairman Lin I-hsiung (
The site, where the Yi-Kwang Presbyterian Church now stands, is where his six-year-old twin daughters and 60-year-old mother were murdered on Feb. 28, 1980.
Lin yesterday returned to the site on Hsin-yi Road with friends and church leaders who had gathered with him to commemorate the day.
PHOTO: CHIANG YING-YING, TAIPEI TIMES
"It has been 22 years. I want to express my gratitude for those who have showed concern for us. Without the support from [these friends] we probably could not have continued on this path," Lin said.
Many of those attending the commemoration ceremony cried during Lin's speech.
To return his friends' love, Lin said, he had constantly encouraged his wife and his surviving daughter to lead meaningful and useful lives.
"I have tried very hard to carry on," he said. "To be one's own master and to control one's own destiny are the eternal desires of human beings, and democracy is the most significant system to help us realize this desire."
Under the sponsorship of the Chilin Foundation (
The museum exhibits documents, photos, newspapers, pamphlets, posters and T-shirts related to democracy movements.
Lin said the museum's aim is to generate determination among Taiwanese to consolidate the development of democracy.
Taiwan's history of democratic development has shown that the promotion of democracy is constantly challenged by relentless obstacles, according to Lin, and each conflict and effort to intimidate puts the existence of democracy in peril.
"Only by adhering firmly to democratic beliefs and resolving internal discord through democratic measures can crises be defused," he said.
Lin knows the cost of championing democracy all too well.
His daughters Liang-chun (亮均) and Ting-chun (亭均) and his mother Lin Yu Ah-mei (林游阿妹) were killed by a man, dressed in black, who broke into Lin's home while both Lin and his wife were away.
Lin was in jail -- he had been arrested on Dec. 13, 1979, for participating in a human-rights rally in Kaohsiung three days earlier. His wife, Fang Su-min (方素敏), was attending the public hearing into what was by then already called the Kaohsiung Incident (美麗島事件).
Lin's eldest daughter, Huan-chun (
The murderer has never been apprehended. However, Lin and many Taiwanese believe that the killings were politically motivated.
The murders -- on the anniversary of the 228 Incident (二二八事件), in which Taiwanese rebelling against KMT rule in 1947 were massacred -- rocked the nation.
The twins and their grandmother were not buried until Lin was released from jail in 1985.
After the murders, Fang and Huan-chun moved to the US to start a new life. Fang returned to Taiwan and ran in the 1983 Legislative Yuan elections in memory of the twins and Lin's mother.
"I don't know if [the murderer] is still alive now," Fang once said.
"But I don't hate him, because love is our best weapon."
Lin is revered by many Tai-wanese for transforming his personal sorrow into strength to struggle for the country's democracy.
The DPP came into power under his leadership, ending the KMT's five-decade-long rule after Chen Shui-bian (
Lin now spends much of his time running the Tzulin Cultural and Education Foundation, a pro-Taiwan political and environmental pressure group.
Huan-chun still lives in the US. She married an American in 1998 and her second child was born four days ago.
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT: A US Air Force KC-135 tanker came less than 1,000 feet of an EVA plane and was warned off by a Taipei air traffic controller, a report said A US aerial refueling aircraft came very close to an EVA Airways jet in the airspace over southern Taiwan, a military aviation news Web site said. A report published by Alert 5 on Tuesday said that automatic dependent surveillance–broadcast (ADS-B) data captured by planfinder.net on Wednesday last week showed a US Air Force KC-135 tanker “coming less than 1,000 feet [305m] vertically with EVA Air flight BR225 as both aircraft crossed path south of Taiwan” that morning. The report included an audio recording of a female controller from the Taipei air traffic control center telling the unidentified aircraft that it was
A series of discussions on the legacy of martial law and authoritarianism are to be held at the Taipei International Book Exhibition this month, featuring findings and analysis by the Transitional Justice Commission. The commission and publisher Book Republic organized the series, entitled “Escaping the Nation’s Labyrinth of Memory: What Authoritarian Symbols and Records Can Tell Us,” to help people navigate narratives through textual analysis and comparisons with other nations. The four-day series is to begin on Thursday next week with a discussion between commission Chairwoman Yang Tsui (楊翠), Polish-language translator Lin Wei-yun (林蔚昀), and Polish author and artist Pawel Gorecki comparing
MOVING OUT: A former professor said that rent and early education costs in Taipei are the nation’s highest, which makes it difficult for young people to start families The population of Taipei last year fell to the lowest in 23 years due to high rent, more transportation options and the expansion of northern cities into a single metropolis, academics and city officials said on Monday. Data released this month by the Ministry of the Interior showed that the capital was home to 2,602,418 people last year, down 42,623 from 2019. The decline is second only to 1993, when the population fell by 42,828 people, while Taipei’s population was the lowest it has been since 1997. Taipei saw the biggest drop among the six special municipalities, while Taoyuan led the group in
A US aircraft carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt has entered the South China Sea to promote “freedom of the seas,” the US military said yesterday, as tensions between China and Taiwan raise concerns in Washington. US Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement that the strike group entered the South China Sea on Saturday, the same day Taiwan reported a large incursion of Chinese bombers and fighter jets into its air defense identification zone near the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島). The US military said the carrier strike group was in the South China Sea, a large part of which