Wed, Mar 13, 2002 - Page 2 News List

Nation's leaders get some respect

NOT POLITICAL Several well-known organizations joined a march to support the president and vice president and called on people to clean their minds

By Sandy Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Lin Ming-te, who describes himself as a citizen of Taiwan, launches a march -- entitled ``Protecting Taiwan: March for the sake of upholding the respect of the president and vice president'' -- at Taipei's Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall yesterday.

PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMES

More than 200 people took to the streets yesterday to call on the general public to support the president and vice president.

By sweeping and picking up trash along their route, the demonstrators said they wanted their actions to convey their message.

"People should not just clean the dirt on their floors but should also clean their minds and purify their hearts," said Lin Ming-te (林明德), convener of the march, entitled "Protecting Taiwan: March for the sake of upholding the respect of the president and vice president."

Several well-known organizations joined in the demonstration, including the Lions Club International, Taiwan Junior Chamber and Rotary Club.

Lin stressed that the march's motive was not political.

"The motive for the march is simple. It is simply that I am sick and tired of seeing people blurt out disrespectful remarks to the heads of our nation, like some politicians do," Lin said.

"I'm also tired of people engaging in publicity stunts, such as those Vice President Lu has had to deal with," he added.

Lin was referring to an incident last month when English teacher Tony Chen (湯尼陳) unfurled two two-story-high banners outside a cram school Chen runs in Taichung City, declaring his adoration for Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮). Chen had earlier expressed his love for Lu by renting out a billboard near Changhua County.

Last year a debt collector with a criminal record had tried proposing to Lu, only to be turned away by police before he could reach her office.

Both men have been heavily criticized as using the vice president for personal publicity.

"Even if you didn't vote for them and don't agree with their opinions, they still deserve respect from every one of us, as they were chosen through a democratic process," Lin said.

Lin also said that if people were to clean their hearts and minds, there would be less social disorder. He cited the recent frenzy over the lottery and "the ridiculous act of seeking lottery numbers from gods and goddesses," as examples of what he called social chaos.

"Through this march, we want the general public to receive one important message: just because we live in a democratic country doesn't mean that we can forsake common courtesy toward others."

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