Tue, Mar 03, 2009 - Page 4 News List

COMMUNITY COMPASS: Government slammed over 228

Some Taiwanese-Americans who gathered at Liberty Square on Saturday to mark the 62nd anniversary of the 228 Incident said the government’s handling of the reconciliation process was counterproductive

By Jenny W. Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER


The manner in which the government is handling the reconciliation process with the families of the victims of the 228 Incident is counterproductive and will most likely brew more tension if the administration refuses to take genuine action that shows contrition, said Taiwanese-Americans who gathered at Liberty Square and the 228 Memorial Park on Saturday to mark the 62nd anniversary of the massacre.

May Huang, one of the Taiwanese-Americans, said although none of her family members were harmed in the 228 Incident, “it left a huge wound on Taiwan’s history and it will never heal unless the Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] stops concealing the truth and takes real steps to pay for their mistakes.”

A Taiwanese-American man surnamed Liu from California said that Taiwan would never become a true democracy unless the government was willing to face the truth.

“Hiding the facts will only trigger more hatred and misunderstanding. Didn’t the government say they want to have a peaceful solution to end all the disputes? How do they expect to settle the differences if nothing is ever talked about,” he said.

More than 1,000 people attended a sit-in held by the Taiwan Association of University Professors on Saturday to remember the bloody massacre carried out by the authoritarian KMT regime on Taiwanese 62 years ago.

The 228 Incident was ignited on Feb. 27, 1947, when government agents assaulted a Taiwanese woman selling cigarettes on the streets of Taipei.

It marked the beginning of the White Terror period during which a large number of intellectuals were murdered, tortured or jailed.

An Israeli student, speaking on condition of anonymity, said leaving the truth behind would not help Taiwan become a bona fide nation, criticizing the 228 Memorial Museum for providing little information on the massacre and concentrating on external factors that led to the bloodbath.

Spanish student Regina Martinez said she learned about the 228 Incident during her time at the Autonomous University in Madrid.

“I think it is a very sensitive issue,” Martinez said. “I hope the government can recognize the mistake so the entire nation can move on. It is an important piece of Taiwanese historical memory.”


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