Fri, Nov 26, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Pro-independence groups plan massive march

TAIWANESE CONSCIOUSNESS Around 100,000 people are expected to attend a parade next weekend at which people will be encouraged to `take off the shroud of the ROC'

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Members of the TSU and other groups, such as the Alliance to Campaign for Rectifying the Name of Taiwan, encourage people to stand up and shout, ``The name of our country is Taiwan!'' at a news conference yesterday. They are planning a parade on Dec. 5 to promote a new constitution and the rectification of the nation's name.

PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMES

Pro-independence groups and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) yesterday announced plans to hold a massive parade on Dec. 5 in Taipei to promote a new constitution and rectifying the country's official name.

"Taiwan needs a suitable and feasible new constitution and it is an appeal that we've been promoting for a long time," World United Formosans for Independence (WUFI) Chairman Ng Chiau-tong (黃昭堂) said at a news conference yesterday.

"As long as Taiwan doesn't correct its official name, other countries in the world will never recognize the existence of Taiwan. Therefore, we want to invite all the people of Taiwan to come out to support our call for a referendum on writing a new constitution and changing Taiwan's official name, and to loudly tell the world that our country is called `Taiwan,'" Ng said.

In addition to the TSU and the WUFI, about 20 pro-independence groups, including the Alliance to Campaign for Rectifying the Name of Taiwan, Taipei Society and Taiwan Professors' Association, will take part in the parade, said TSU Chairman Huang Chu-wen (黃主文), adding that they expect 100,000 people to take part.

"Taiwan has suffered from diplomatic problems in the international community because of its fictitious name," Huang said.

"The Republic of China [ROC] was dead when the Communists took over China in 1949. How-ever, Chiang Kai-shek's (蔣介石) regime forced Taiwan to wear an ROC shroud as a result of its high-handed rule and imposition of martial law. It is high time for the people of Taiwan to take off the shroud of the ROC and establish our own country," Huang said, adding that Taiwan has to achieve these goals urgently, or else China would exploit its people's increasingly extreme nationalism to force Taiwan into accepting unification before 2008, when Beijing is slated to host the Olympic Games.

Three parade groups, bearing the names "making a new constitution," "rectifying the country's name" and "establishing the Republic of Taiwan," will gather at the 228 Peace Memorial Park, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial and the intersection of Hangzhou South Road and Xinyi Road before setting out for Ketagalan Boulevard, where political figures and TSU legislative candidates will deliver speeches.

Former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) will deliver the keynote speech.

Meanwhile, Taiwan Advocates, a think tank initiated by Lee, will hold an international symposium on discussing the legitimacy of Taiwan's new constitution, which will be discussed by constitutional experts from the US, France, Germany and Japan.

"The development of Taiwan is facing a deadlock situation and we believe that only by writing a new constitution could we create a new way for Taiwan," said Taiwan Advocates vice president Huang Kun-hui (黃昆輝).

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