The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday accused the students staging a "hunger strike" at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall of being in allegiance with the pan-blue alliance.
According to the DPP, some of the students played active roles in the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-People First Party (PFP) alliance's election campaign.
Fifteen students started the hunger strike on Friday to call on political leaders across party lines to apologize for what the students call the social disorder of the past four years and to establish a "truth task force" to investigate the attempted assassination of President Chen Shui-bian (
The deputy director of the DPP's Information and Culture Department, Cheng Wen-tsan (
Cheng said that one student, Chen Hsin-ju (
At a media conference yesterday, the DPP displayed photographs of the students posing with KMT Chairman Lien Chan (
The DPP said the hunger strikers' Web site, http://dyu.hopto.org, was connected to the home page of a pan-blue youth organization. The e-mail address on the students' Web site is email@example.com. According to the DPP, "pfp" refers to the political party, while "e2k" is the name of youth summer camp held regularly by the PFP.
The students are calling their protest the reappearance of the Formosa Lily Movement, a pro-democracy group formed by university students in the early 1990s against the then-ruling KMT to call for the abolishment of the National Assembly and to promote the termination of the Temporary Provisions Effective During the Period of Communist Rebellion (動員戡亂時期臨時條款). The movement disbanded peacefully after delivering a petition to former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) in the Presidential Office.
Cheng, a graduate of National Taiwan University and a member of the original Formosa Lily Movement, said the hunger strikers' appeal to "the spirits of the Formosa Lily" was unnecessary.
"Back then, those students joining in the protests were not affiliated with any political party. No political party supported our event, not even the DPP. The students took the initiative to push for more democratic reforms in that conservative time of the KMT's authoritarian rule. But now these students have neglected the spirit of being a `student initiative.' We are aware of the political influence behind them," Cheng said.
There is nothing wrong with speaking out and fighting for one's political passions, Cheng said, but there was no need for the hunger strikers to say they are non-partisan when they are not.