Fri, Sep 26, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Pan-purple warns about mass student uprisings


The Alliance of Fairness and Justice, also known as the "pan-purple alliance," urged the government yesterday to heed the plight of university students, warning that student demonstrations could disrupt the presidential election next March.

Chien Hsi-chieh, the alliance's convener, said at a news conference that many university students are now facing economic hardship and the threat of unemployment after graduation.

"Skyrocketing tuition fees and textbook prices have forced many university students to take part-time jobs while leading a humble lifestyle like a cockroach," Chien said, adding that the misery index among young people this year was at a record high.

Worse still, Chien said, many new graduates have had a hard time landing jobs.

Chien said that the difficulties for university graduates in finding work was a reflection of the local job market, and therefore the current administration those intending to run for president next year should present policy initiatives to improve the job situation for new graduates.

Chien said the pan-purple alliance, which is composed of nine major social welfare groups that promote fair and just welfare services, will sponsor a series of seminars across the country next month to discuss tuition and employment problems faced by students.

"Young students are welcome to attend the seminars to report on their predicaments and give their views on what the government should do to help them," Chien said.

He predicted that if the government fails to properly address students' problems, student movements could resurface.

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