Tue, Mar 01, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Remember 228: Ma meets with relatives of 228 Incident victims

NATION'S HISTORY At a tea party yesterday, Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou said it was important for future generations to be taught about the 1947 massacre

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday took advantage of the 228 Peace Memorial Day holiday to remind the people of Taiwan to pass the history of the 228 Incident on to the next generation. The tragedy has had a major impact on Taiwan's history, and its lessons need to be remembered, Ma said

"I had a chance to chat with some children during a ceremony to remember 228 victims the other day. It surprised me to learn that many still don't know what the 228 Incident is," Ma said during a tea party with relatives of the victims of the 228 Incident yesterday.

"The 228 tragedy can be forgiven, but not forgotten. I ask all Taiwanese to learn about this important chapter of the history, and to teach the next generation the historical lessons," he said.

The tea party was organized by the Taipei City Government and the Taipei City 228 Incident Association, and has been held for six consecutive years to commemorate the 228 Incident.

Relatives of the victims of the 228 Incident were invited to share their emotions and suggestions with Ma in a casual setting.

During the tea party, Liao Te-hsiung (廖德雄), chairman of the association, presented Ma with a bottle of whisky, a memento of his father, Liao Chin-ping (廖進平), who was a democracy activist that disappeared and is presumed to have been killed in the 228 Incident.

The bottle will be displayed as one of the historical relics from the 228 Incident at the New Taiwan Culture Museum once the building is completed.

"The whisky was a gift from Sun Yat-sen (孫中山) during his visit to Taiwan after his second attempted revolution [against the Qing Dynasty] failed. My father was arrested by the government during the 228 Incident and never came back. The whisky is something he left for my family. But more importantly, it is an important relic of the tragedy in 1947," Liao said.

Former chairman of the association Lee Wen-ching (李文卿) lauded both Ma and the Taipei City Government's efforts to promote a peaceful relationship between ethnic groups in Taiwan.

While thanking the government for educating the public about the importance of the 228 Incident through commemorative events, Lee encouraged all of the relatives of the 228 victims to walk away from sadness.

"I lost my father in the 228 Incident. So I share the pain of people who lost their beloved family members during the tragedy. However, what's more important now is for us to learn to live with the past and move ahead," he said.

After the tea party, Ma and family members of the victims of the 228 Incident placed flowers in front of the 228 Memorial Museum in memory of the victims.

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