Two non-institutional bodies set up under the Presidential Office will be disbanded tomorrow, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) announced yesterday.
The Human Rights Advisory Committee and the Science and Technology Advisory Committee, both chaired by Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮), will stop functioning to show the Presidential Office's respect for the legislature, as well as its sincerity in maintaining a harmonious relationship with opposition parties, Chen said.
However, the Presidential Office would continue to solicit the opinions of committee members whenever their expertise is required, Chen said at the Presidential Office, where the two committees' 39 members attended a farewell lunch hosted by Chen and Lu yesterday afternoon.
The Legislative Yuan passed a resolution in January requesting that six non-institutional bodies set up under the Presidential Office be dissolved.
They are the Human Rights Advisory Committee, the Science and Technology Advisory Committee, the preparatory group for the national human rights memorial museum, the Gender Mainstreaming Advisory Panel, the Constitutional Re-engineering Office and the Youth Corps.
Lu had previously argued that the Presidential Office was authorized to form the Human Rights Advisory Committee under the Standard Organic Law of Central Government Agencies (
She also argued that no additional legislation had been needed for the establishment of the Science and Technology Advisory Committee, because Chen in August 2000 approved an administrative decree authorizing its creation.
Lu yesterday said that, despite claims that the committee wasted taxpayers' money, all of the committee members had provided their services free of charge.
She said that although the two committees would soon stop functioning, this marked the beginning of another stage.
"There is still a long way to go before we put into practice the president's promise of improving the country based on human rights and technology," she said.
"Technology is developing at a breakneck speed. We may be the hare in the race today, but the turtle may be gradually catching up if we slack off," Lu said.
The two committees' coordinators, Fort Liao (
The books, Building the Nation on Human Rights and Building the Nation on Technology, chronicle the two committees' achievements since their formation.
The Human Rights Advisory Committee was established in October 2000, and the Science and Technology Advisory Committee in November 2000.
A series of discussions on the legacy of martial law and authoritarianism are to be held at the Taipei International Book Exhibition this month, featuring findings and analysis by the Transitional Justice Commission. The commission and publisher Book Republic organized the series, entitled “Escaping the Nation’s Labyrinth of Memory: What Authoritarian Symbols and Records Can Tell Us,” to help people navigate narratives through textual analysis and comparisons with other nations. The four-day series is to begin on Thursday next week with a discussion between commission Chairwoman Yang Tsui (楊翠), Polish-language translator Lin Wei-yun (林蔚昀), and Polish author and artist Pawel Gorecki comparing
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