Rebutting accusations that it was carrying out a campaign of “blue terror,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday denied a media report that it had requested a full investigation into officials at the ministry who have studied or taught at a pro-Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) private institute.
Blue is the standard color of the ruling Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). The new administration, headed by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), was inaugurated on May 20, replacing the former DPP government.
Ministry spokeswoman Phoebe Yeh (葉非比) told the Central News Agency that the report in the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper) yesterday “seriously deviated from the facts,” as Minister of Foreign Affairs Francisco Ou (歐鴻鍊) never gave any such instructions.
The ministry expressed its dissatisfaction with and regret over “the false report,” as well as accusations about its so-called “political motive.”
The Liberty Times report said that the Ketagalan Institute — founded by former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) of the DPP in 2003 — received a call from the ministry’s personnel department last Thursday asking the institute to provide a list of ministry officials who had attended or taught at the school for a database it was setting up.
The report said the caller indicated that the information was requested by the foreign minister, but the institute turned down the request to protect students’ privacy.
The Ketagalan Institute said it seemed the ministry was sponsoring “blue terror” by conducting an internal investigation to put anyone connected to the institute on a blacklist, the report said.
The ministry issued a statement yesterday saying that an inquiry was made at the institute as part of normal procedure to keep track of its employees’ continuing education record.
It said it called the Ketagalan Institute on May 29 to ask whether an official recommended by the ministry last year was accepted by the institute and completed the course, as the institute failed to notify the ministry about the staffer, who has been assigned to South Africa.
The ministry said it selects and recommends officials every year to pursue further education and receive training at local and international schools and organizations, including the Ketagalan Institute.
The ministry is therefore setting up a database to keep a record of officials attending such programs.
“Minister Ou evaluates ministry officials based solely on their professionalism and capability and not their political orientation,” the ministry press release said.
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