Wed, Sep 03, 2003 - Page 3 News List

President thanks DPP officials for quitting media

By Chang Yun-Ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday commended the 12 DPP public officials who resigned from their positions in the media in compliance with the party's policy to remove political influence from the media.

The officials announced their resignation from high-ranking media posts to comply with the order issued by Chen, also the party's chairman, that all DPP members holding positions in the media must resign by Friday.

Those who resigned include DPP lawmakers Trong Chai (蔡同榮) of Formosa TV, Chang Chun-hung (張俊宏) of Global TV, Ho Shui-sheng (侯水勝) of the Tsengwen River broadcasting company in Tainan and Chou Ching-yu (周清玉) of the Kan-huai broadcasting company in Changhua County.

"This is an inspirational moment that keeps up our work in the journey of reform," Chen said yesterday at the party's Central Executive Committee. "We give the utmost respect for the efforts paid by the comrades who helped realize the party's goal.

"Freeing the media from political influence is one of the basic approaches of media reform. The withdrawal of our party members from media operations is a small step, yet a crucial one toward media reform," he said.

Thanking party loyalists for forsaking their media posts, Chen said they have helped develop a free media environment in the country by toppling the former KMT regime's control over the press by establishing private media corporations.

Chen yesterday reiterated the importance of passing the three media bills -- the Cable Television Law (有線廣播電視法), the Satellite Broadcasting Law (衛星廣播電視法) and the Broadcasting and Television Law (廣播電視法) -- by the end of November.

Meanwhile, DPP Legislator Lawrence Gao (高志鵬) yesterday urged the KMT to immediately withdraw from the management of China Television Company (中視) and Broadcasting Corporation of China (中廣). He said the party should stop playing tricks with media management.

"The KMT should stop this about-face trick. The party has said that since the bills requiring the removal of political forces in the media haven't been passed, it doesn't have to comply with the requirement. Yet it has also asked its lawmakers to block passage of these laws," Gao said.

"Public officials still occupying media posts, including [independent lawmaker] Sisy Chen, should not find any more excuses to dodge this responsibility," he said.

Chen Shui-bian also said yesterday that China's ignorance of and procrastination on tackling human smuggling have resulted in growing numbers of illegal Chinese immigrants, causing social and security problems in the country.

He urged the Chinese government to face the seriousness of the issue.

"We disagree with Beijing's ignorance and dodging of its responsibility. We hope both sides can resume talks as soon as possible to work for the welfare of the people across the Taiwan Strait and crack down on criminal practices," Chen said.

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