Merger announcement off
The pan-blue camp's plans to announce a merger of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and its two splinter parties at the KMT's 110th founding anniversary cele-brations today in Taoyuan have been canceled, party sources said yesterday. The sources said KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰), New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明) and People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) were to announce the merger at the anniversary celebrations to help boost the pan-blue camp's legislative candi-dates. A PFP spokesman
has confirmed that Soong will not be present at the event. Lien, KMT Vice Chairman Wu Po-hsiung (吳伯雄), Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), other KMT mayors and commissioners and the party's legislative candidates will attend.
School backs name change
A name change by a univer-sity has triggered a stir on campus, but school presi-dent Lin Chien-chang (林見昌) said the move was approved by its faculty. National Huwei University of Science and Technology in Yunlin changed its name in English to "National For-mosa University" almost two months ago. "This is a democratic society. Only a few students, who expressed dissent over the new name by sending e-mails, is enough to create contro-versy," one university official said yesterday. "I don't see the relation between the word `Formosa' and our Chinese name `Huwei,'" a student was quoted as saying by a TV news show. But other stu-dents defended the new English title. "I think `For-mosa' is good as a name and easier for foreigners to remember," said one.
Schools' centenaries marked
The Ministry of Education held a celebration yesterday for the 100th anniversary of 21 elementary schools founded between 1904 and July 1905. There was a preview of an exhibition of some items used by the schools -- flags, students' manuscripts, diaries, bells and photos -- at the ministry yesterday. The exhibition will go on display at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall from Dec. 11-19. Minister of Education Tu Cheng-sheng (杜正勝) said while schools used to celebrate their 100th anniversaries individually, the ministry will now hold joint celebrations each year to show its concern for the schools' historical heritage. Tu said modern education was introduced to Taiwan by the Japanese colonial government in 1895, when it established two schools here. Seven more schools were built in 1896, 56 schools were set up in 1898 and 166 more were founded in 1904, Tu said.
No alert for elections
The Ministry of National Defense said yesterday that the military will maintain general combat readiness and regular leave for next month's legislative elections. Ministry spokesman Major General Huang Suey-sheng (黃穗生) made the remarks during a regular ministry press conference. He said the military only goes on heightened alert for a presidential election, Lunar New Year and Double Ten National Day so there are no special plans to have addi-tional personnel on duty.
He stressed that the
decision was based on the principles of the national-ization of the army, admin-istrative neutrality and non-interference in politics. Huang also said that all military personnel will be able to exercise their voting rights.