Sun, Mar 01, 2009 - Page 2 News List

REMEMBERING THE 228 INCIDENT: Academic accuses 228 Foundation of historical bias

STAFF WRITER

A research fellow at Academia Sinica's Institute of Modern History yesterday accused academics with hidden political agendas of attempting to monopolize the right to interpret the 228 Incident.

“This means that the history presented to the public is biased,” Chu Hong-yuan (朱浤源) told a symposium on the 228 Incident.

Other academics who attended the forum were Yin Chang-yi (尹章義), chairperson of Taiwan History Research Foundation; Chi Chia-lin (戚嘉林), a political science professor at Foguang University; and Cheng Yu-fong (程玉鳳), an associate professor at Shih Hsin University's Center For General Education.

The group also issued a draft “statement on the 228 Incident from academic circles,” in which they expressed their concern over “biased historical interpretations” of the 228 Incident.

“The 228 Incident has long been manipulated for political purposes and under the eight years of rule by the Democratic Progressive Party, the truth about the incident has been severely distorted,” Chu said.

Chu is known as one of the progenitors of the conspiracy theory that former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) staged his own shooting on the eve of the 2004 presidential election. Chu had also attacked former US naval attache George Kerr, claiming that the 228 Incident was the result of Kerr's support for a pro-independence campaign that blackened the Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) regime.

Touching on the debate about the continued existence of the 228 Memorial Foundation, Chu said: “The current staff are all pan-green supporters and that they all have a vengeful mindset.”

He added that unless they were replaced, it would be useless to continue the foundation.

Addressing Ma's repeated apologies over the 228 Incident, Chu said some historians had found that the executive administrator of Taiwan at the time, Chen Yi (陳儀), “indeed did all he could,” and suggested that Ma give his full support to 228 Incident research so that the role of all participants be clarified lest he be handicapped by biased interpretations.

Yin said that “truth is the beginning of everything” and historians should search for the historical truth.

Yin echoed Chu's claims that current interpretations of the 228 Incident were biased and called on historians to refrain from becoming political tools of the pan-blue or pan-green camps in their search for the truth.

The group suggested that Academia Historica be put in charge of the 228 Incident issue, that the National Archives Administration and other organizations provide historians with research materials and that periodic academic symposia be held so that the whole truth about the 228 incident could be gradually unearthed.

At a separate setting yesterday, 228 Memorial Foundation president Chen Chin-huang (陳錦煌) rebutted Chu's comment that the foundation's research on the 228 Incident were politically biased.

“All statements and publications published by the foundation on the 228 Incident are open to public scrutiny because the foundation has always believed in 'letting the evidence speak for itself.' This has always been the guiding principle in the foundation's work in uncovering the truth about the 228 Incident,” Chen told the Taipei Times.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY STAFF WRITER

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