Sun, Dec 11, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Chen makes annual democracy pilgrimage

PAYING RESPECTS The president ventured out to visit the tomb of his mentor, democracy pioneer Huang Hsin-chieh, but made no comment to the press on the political situation

CNA , TAIPEI

President Chen Shui-bian, center, and Huang Chih-chun, second right, the youngest son of former Democratic Progressive Party chairman Huang Hsin-chieh, pay their respects at Huang Hsin-chieh's tomb at a cemetery in Pali, Taipei County, yesterday.

PHOTO: WU CHIA-YI, TAIPEI TIMES

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) paid his respects to the late Huang Hsin-chieh (黃信介), his mentor and a pioneer in Taiwan's democratic development yesterday.

Accompanied by Huang's younger brother Huang Tien-fu (黃天福) and his widow, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lan Mei-chin (藍美津), Chen visited Huang's tomb at a cemetery in Pali (八里), Taipei County.

Chen kept a low profile during the visit.

After burning incense and bowing before the late Huang's tomb, the president chatted with Huang's family members for 20 minutes, according to Ma Yung-cheng (馬永成), deputy secretary-general of the Presidential Office.

Chen made no public statement, but he prayed that Huang's spirit will give him strength and guidance to continue on the path of reform, Ma said.

Ma also quoted the president as saying that he couldn't come to Huang's cemetery earlier because he was in southern Taiwan stumping for DPP candidates, so he decided to visit yesterday, which was the 26th anniversary of the Kaohsiung Incident.

The incident, in which police cracked down on a peaceful rally to mark Human Rights Day on Dec. 10, 1979, is generally recognized as an important turning point in Taiwan's transition to democracy.

Chen said Huang, a former DPP chairman, is the perennial spiritual leader of the party, which stands for the pursuit of the ideals of democracy, freedom, human rights, social justice, protection of the disadvantaged, as well as Taiwan first, Ma said.

On questions regarding the administration's lineup now that Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) has stepped down as DPP chairman to take responsibility for the party's election loss and a possible Cabinet reshuffle, Ma said that the president will reveal his ideas after careful consideration.

Lan said the president has visited the late Huang's tomb every year since Huang passed away on Dec. 30, 1999 to pay his respects.

She said that the president shouldn't shoulder the responsibility for the election defeat alone, because he had worked hard during the campaign. She said the DPP should continue on the path of reform.

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