Sun, Oct 01, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Wang calls for self-restraint during planned protests

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday called on supporters of the campaign to oust President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to exercise self-restraint in the "soft strikes" planned over the Double Ten National Day holidays.

"We hope their hearts are full of love and peace and that they refrain from causing civic unrest," Wang told reporters in Kaohsiung County, where he attended the inauguration of a care center for the elderly.

Wang, who chairs the committee organizing official National Day celebrations, said that the committee decided that festivities should start this coming Friday, with the Oct. 10 ceremony forming the highlight.

"Unless there is a major disaster as devastating as the Sept. 21 earthquake, the festivities should proceed as usual," he said.

Wang announced on Friday that the National Day celebrations would go ahead unless security issues concerning the planned anti-Chen protest became more serious.

Officials from national security agencies had suggested that this year's celebrations be canceled. Some pan-green lawmakers have also suggested that the celebrations be called off as the anti-Chen camp has threatened to "besiege" the Presidential Office on the day.

The anti-Chen camp yesterday encouraged people to stage "nationwide demonstrations," or "soft strikes," on Thursday and next Monday.

Although Oct. 9 will be part of the five-day National Day holidays, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Chen Chin-jun (陳景峻) yesterday said it would be very "inappropriate" to launch "soft strikes," as this kind of protests would wreck the economy.

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