Fri, Sep 22, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Shih campaign to sue president, FTV

NOT TRUE The anti-Chen group said the president and Formosa TV had falsely implied that the Chinese Communist Party was behind their campaign, and that they would sue them

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Ilan residents welcome President Chen Shui-bian yesterday. Chen went to Ilan to participate in a symposium on party affairs.

PHOTO: KUO YEN-HUI, TAIPEI TIMES

The campaign aimed at ousting President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday accused the president and a local TV station of slander and distorting the nature of its movement, saying that it will file lawsuits against them.

"The president's remarks and the TV station's coverage have caused the public to misunderstand our movement ? We plan to file lawsuits against them," John Wei (魏千峰), an attorney allied with the camp told a press conference yesterday.

According to Wei, the president told Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members during a trip to Ilan County yesterday that the protest against him "has been supported by other forces," implying that China was backing the movement.

Formosa TV Station, meanwhile, repeatedly broadcast a news item that claimed the camp's idea for protesters to wear red clothes and title of its plan to "besiege" the Presidential Office on Double Ten Day on Oct. 10 -- entitled "Tian Xia Wei Gong (天下圍攻)" -- were inspired by a Chinese song and suggested that the camp was associated with the Chinese Communist Party, Wei said.

The title of the planned siege and terms such as "red guards" and "red flags" appeared in the lyrics of a Chinese song titled Flowers Blossoming Everywhere in August.

The station carried biased news about the protest's intentions. We have already prepared the news clips as evidence and we ask the station to stop broadcasting it immediately," he added.

Chang Fu-chung (張富忠), a spokesman for the camp, also condemned the station and the pan-green camp for "smearing the campaign with the color red."

The director of the DPP's Ilan chapter, Soong Hsiu-shu (宋岫書), however, told the Taipei Times yesterday in a phone interview that the president did not make comments implying that China was the mastermind behind the campaign.

That opinion was expressed by Ilan residents and local opinion leaders when they met with the president in a closed-door meeting yesterday. Chen did not respond, Soong said.

Soong said that Chen told the Ilan meeting that he believed the public would gradually see clearly the true nature of the campaign.

When asked by TV reporters whether Chen mentioned China or implicated that China was behind the anti-Chen campaign at the meeting, Soong said that he repeatedly told the reporters that the president did not, but the TV stations did not show that part.

The Presidential Office issued a statement late yesterday afternoon denying that Chen said "other forces are backing" the anti-Chen demonstration.

The statement said that all remarks about the meeting were made by Soong and that Chen had not linked the campaign to China.

In response, FTV said their coverage didn't question whether the anti-Chen campaign had any connection to the "Red Army."

The TV network said it asked academic Lin Bao-hua (林寶華) and anti-Chen campaign spokesman Jerry Fan (范可欽) whether the inspiration for the campaign had come from classic Chinese songs.

Lin pointed out to FTV that he discovered that the campaign slogans used by the anti-Chen camp were taken from the songs titled Flowers Blossoming Everywhere in August (遍地開花) and All Under Heaven are Equal (天下為公), both Chinese classics.

Fan told FTV that the connection was just a coincidence, adding that the idea for the slogans came from anti-Chen campaign leader Shi Ming-teh (施明德).

As anti-Chen protesters returned to Ketagalan Boulevard yesterday, the organizers pledged to launch its Double Ten National Day "siege," despite the Taipei City Government's decision to reject the camp's proposal to hold protests in front of the Presidential Office.

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