Mon, Mar 29, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Church slams Lien, Soong

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan and Society Committee held a public prayer meeting in Taipei yesterday, praying for peace while strongly condemning the actions and motivations of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) in the aftermath of the March 20 presidential election.

The assembly asked the leaders of the pan-blue camp to calm their supporters down and wait for justice through legal channels.

"Lien has stirred up trouble because of hatred. If he has doubts about the election, he should make complaints through the law, not use crowds to put pressure on our democracy," said Reverend William Lo (羅榮光), the assembly's general-secretary.

A written statement by Reverend Lu Chen-fa (盧成發), passed out to the meeting's attendees, expressed the assembly's wish for conflict resolution: "People win and they lose. We each have our time and each must face the time when we bow out ... For the Taiwanese people's reputation and future, for your own legislative elections at the end of the year, or for the 2008 presidential election, cool down and recoup while waiting for the law to reveal the truth."

Holding hands, ministers led audience members in prayer, asking God to grant President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) a successful transition into their next term. The prayer also wished Chen and Lu health and wisdom, so that they can effectively govern the country in the coming years, and asked for mutual respect among all citizens and political parties.

"Political parties should respect each other and their country's leader. Political figures should not twist facts and defame their president," Lo said, the assembly,s general-secretary, during a sermon at the meeting.

The assembly also urged people to stand up for their rights.

"For so long, Taiwan has been ruled by foreigners, including mainlanders who came over with the KMT in 1949," Lo said.

"Many of these people, who support the pan-blue camp, have held control over the government for so long; it is time for the Taiwanese people to stand up and claim equality," the reverend said.

Church members handed out yellow ribbons and red roses, meant to symbolize a wish for peace and love, to people attending the meeting.

The assembly, along with other social groups, recently took out ads in major newspapers around the country, calling on the public to wear ribbons in support of a "soft," or non-confrontational, approach to post-election conflict.

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