Officials vow tight security
Minister of the Interior Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) vowed yesterday to maintain order at CKS International Airport when Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) returns from a controversial visit to China today. Speaking at the Legislative Yuan, the minister said he could not say how many people would go to the airport for Lien's return, but he was firm in his conviction that anyone who tried to stir up trouble would be dealt with harshly. The minister said Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang Shih-chien (王世堅), who said he would greet Lien on his return at the airport with a shower of eggs, will be arrested if he makes good on his threat. Meanwhile, national police chief Hsieh Yin-tang (謝銀黨) said he will be present at the airport when Lien returns, although Chen Tzu-ching (陳子敬), the newly appointed chief of the Aviation Police Office will be in charge of the police force called in to maintain order. Hsieh said prosecutors from the Taoyuan District Court near the airport will also be present to deal with offenders who disrupt the peace at the airport. Besides the aviation officers, 1,462 policemen will be posted on roads leading to the airport, Hsieh said.
■ Foreign workers
Number of laborers rises
The number of foreign laborers totaled 304,833 as of the end of March, up 2.2 percent from a year earlier, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) reported yesterday. Thai nationals constituted the largest portion with their number totaling about 100,000, or 32.7 percent of the total, followed by Vietnamese, at about 93,000, and Indonesians, with around 20,000, according to DGBAS officials, who quoted tallies from the Council of Labor Affairs. Of the foreign laborers, 53 percent, or 162,000 people, were working in the manufacturing sector.
University promotes safety
Campus safety week at the National Cheng Kung University opened yesterday, according to university president Ou Shan-hwei (歐善惠). The opening ceremony was attended by Ou and Wang Fu-lin (王福林), director of the Department of Military Training Education under the Ministry of Education. Campus safety week is aimed at displaying the university's resolve to secure campus safety by promoting safety education, Ou said. To protect students from danger at night, the university has set up a volunteer "escorting angel team" to accompany students home during late hours, Ou said. He said the school has also employed martial arts experts to teach students defensive skills and established mobile scooter and bicycle teams to patrol the campus.
More foreign labor mooted
The Council of Labor Affairs is expected to allow employment of foreign laborers in public con-struction works worth more than NT$10 billion (US$317.46 million) again after a nearly four-year hiatus. The council made the announcement following Premier Frank Hsieh's (謝長廷) recent order to review policy on foreign laborers. Kuo Fang-yu (郭芳煜), director-general of the council's Employment and Vocational Training Administration, said that the plan would allow 20 percent of workers on site to be foreign employees. Kuo said the plan would be announced within two weeks. The government suspended the introduction of foreign labor for public works in May 2001 to protect domestic employment.