President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has failed to deliver on his pledge to find the truth about the 228 Massacre and its perpetrators, civic groups and victims’ families said yesterday.
Civic groups plan to highlight Ma’s disappointing record on transitional justice in his first term with two marches to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the massacre, group representatives told a press conference.
In a violent suppression of anti-government uprisings that began on Feb. 28, 1947 — two years after the end of Japanese colonial rule — Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) troops killed between 18,000 and 30,000 people, the majority of them Taiwanese and including many of the island’s leaders and intellectuals.
Ma said at the opening ceremony of the renovated National 228 Memorial Museum on Feb. 28 last year that the government would continue to unearth the truth of the incident to help future generations understand the historical facts of the massacre and to make sure such incidents never happen again, Taiwan 228 Care Association chairman Chang Yen-hsien (張炎憲) said.
However, Ma and his administration had failed to uncover any truths for the victims’ families in the past four years, he said.
Neither had anyone involved in the incident stepped forward to offer an apology to the victims and the public, he added.
This is why an alliance of civic groups has organized marches to raise awareness of the massacre and Ma’s negligence, Taiwan Nation Alliance convener Yao Chia-wen (姚嘉文) said.
The first march is scheduled for Taipei on Feb. 28 under the theme “self-salvation to protect Taiwan,” and it will also protest against Ma’s “pro-China” policies, which the group says are putting Taiwan’s sovereignty in jeopardy.
A second march is planned for Chiayi City on March 25.
More than 50 memorial services, most of which have been organized by Taiwan’s Presbyterian Church, and other events would be held nationwide to commemorate the massacre, the 228 Memorial Foundation said.
Ma is scheduled to attend a memorial ceremony organized by the central government, to be held at Taipei’s 228 Peace Park on the afternoon of Feb. 28.