Wed, Feb 02, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Anti-nuclear group appeals to new premier

DEMONSTRATION The Nuke-4 Referendum Initiative Association reminded newly-inaugurated Premier Frank Hsieh of his promises about creating a nuclear-free country

By Chiu Yu-Tzu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former Democratic Progressive Party chairman Lin Yi-hsiung, left, and some activists from the Nuke-4 Referendum Initiative Association yesterday demonstrate outside the Legislative Yuan in a bid to urge Premier Frank Hsieh to realize the government's goal of turning Taiwan into a nuclear-free homeland.

PHOTO:CHEN CHIA-MING, TAIPEI TIMES

Former DPP chairman Lin I-hsiung (林義雄) and his anti-nuclear comrades yesterday demonstrated outside both the Legislative Yuan and the Executive Yuan, urging newly-inaugurated Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) to realize the government's goal of making Taiwan a nuclear-free country.

Gradually phasing out nuclear power is the main idea behind the Cabinet's Nuclear-free Homeland Project. However, Hsieh said late last month that the new Cabinet would not halt the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant project before consensus has been reached among the public.

He also said that inconsistency on the part of the government in this matter might jeopardize other core values, such as democracy, trust and the rule of law.

Dozens of activists from the Nuke-4 Referendum Initiative Association (核四公投促進會) yesterday marched in front of the two government buildings to express their disagreement with what Hsieh said.

Association spokesman Chang Kuo-lung (張國龍) said yesterday that Hsieh obviously had doubts about the value of phasing out nuclear energy.

"No matter what, political figures have to keep their word. We demand a clear schedule from Hsieh for him to implement the Cabinet's Nuclear-free Homeland Project," Chang said.

Chang reminded Hsieh that he has expressed support for turning Taiwan into a nuclear-free country.

"We all remember what he said about phasing out nuclear energy when running for the post of DPP chairman or for Kaohsiung mayor," Chang said.

Lin, who has been an ideological figurehead for anti-nuclear activists since the early 1990s, remained silent at yesterday's demonstration, although he sometimes applauded what Chang said.

Demonstrators read out a petition to Hsieh, urging him to ensure the safety of the lives and property of all of Taiwan's people.

Activists also said that the Referendum Law (公投法) remains an indispensable tool, not only for legally halting the construction of the controversial power plant, but also to construct a sound civil society in Taiwan.

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