Tue, Oct 17, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Apologies demanded for disturbances

DPP LAWMAKER 'S DEMAND Taipei's mayor, Wang Jin-pyng and the NPA chief should say sorry for allowing disturbances to mar the official national day ceremony

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) should apologize to the public for allowing disruption of the Double Ten National Day ceremony, the chairman of a legislative committee demanded yesterday.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Chin-de (陳金德), who chaired yesterday's meeting of the Organic Laws and Statutes Committee, said that Wang should apologize because he gave entrance passes to two People First Party (PFP) members, who caused a stir at the ceremony.

Chen said that legislators Wei Chih-chong (魏治中) and Wu Koon-yu (吳昆玉), endangered President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) safety and blackened the national image when they created a disturbance as the president was making his national day address.

The duo, who got access to the grandstand where President Chen and Cabinet officials were seated, held out red banners reading "Down with A-bian (Chen's nickname)" and shouted "A-bian, step down."

Chen Chin-de said that the pair obtained their grandstand passes from Wang, who chaired the organizing committee for the national day celebrations.

He demanded Ma and National Police Agency (NPA) Director-General Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) apologize for failing to restrain protesters who gathered outside the restricted area for the official ceremony.

He also requested that Taipei City Police Department Commissioner Wang Cho-chiun (王卓鈞) be replaced, as well as heads of the city's district police departments involved in the maintenance of order on Double Ten National Day.

The DPP lawmaker made the demands after listening to the briefings by the National Security Bureau (NSB), NPA and the ministries of national defense, interior and education at the committee hearing.

His list of demands, however, were little more than a personal statement because the rest of the committee members had already left the meeting when he read out the statement.

Meanwhile, DPP Legislator Lee Ming-hsien (李明憲), who was beaten up by red camp protesters, said that Wang Cho-chiun should step down or receive a demerit for the city police's poor performance. He criticized pan-blue lawmakers for brazenly tarnishing the nation's image.

Vice Minister of the Interior Lin Mei-chu (林美珠), who served as secretary-general of the organizing committee, told the Organic Laws and Statutes Committee that Wang had 12 entrance passes at his disposal and that as far as she knew, two of the passes were given to the two PFP members.

Lin said that it was a long-standing practice that those who have admission tickets and pass the security check are allowed to enter the venue.

If the legislative committee was not satisfied with that process, the organizing committee would hold a review meeting, Lin said.

NSB Deputy Director Yang Kuo-chiang (楊國強) listed five flaws in the handing of the president's security last Tuesday, including the failure to stop the two PFP members from creating a scene.

Others flaws cited by Yang included the failure to stop pan-blue and pan-green lawmakers from engaging in physical clashes, the failure to prevent PFP legislators from moving through the marching honor guards, the failure to block a middle-aged woman who threatened to immolate herself by igniting a bottle of liquid in the restricted area and the failure to intercept legislators who were bringing banners to the ceremony site.

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