Fri, Jul 16, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Ma offers condolences to victims of White Terror era

By Shelley Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Ma Ying-jeou, center, attends a memorial service for the victims of the White Terror yesterday. The service was held at Taipei’s Jieshou Park.

PHOTO: LO PEI-DER, TAIPEI TIMES

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday expressed his condolences to victims of the White Terror era at a memorial in front of the Presidential Office.

The event, called “Love and Hope,” marked the 23rd anniversary since the lifting of Martial Law, a period during which thousands of people in Taiwan were subjected to purges, imprisonment, executions and repression by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

Addressing hundreds of people who gathered for the event, Ma apologized on behalf of the KMT and offered his condolences to the victims and their families.

“Those who were wrongly accused of crimes they were not guilty of suffered and sacrificed their health and reputation,” he said.

“For many years, [the victims] could not lead normal lives … As the government, we should admit our wrongdoings and express regret to those who suffered as a result of the White Terror,” he said.

The president said that since then, more than 7,000 cases had resulted in compensation by the government to victims or families.

Ma said that while the government could not travel back in time to right wrongs, it could apologize, compensate the victims and prevent similar tragedies from happening again.

Ma also used the occasion to promote the recently signed Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA).

Labor Party chairman Wu Jung-yuan (吳榮元), who also spoke at the event, called for reconciliation so that people could come to terms with the horrors of the past.

“We should look beyond our personal suffering and seek reconciliation and peace to achieve prosperity on both sides of the Taiwan Strait,” he said.

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