A total of 26 people took part in the toppling of a statue of Republic of China (ROC) founding father Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙) in a public park in Greater Tainan last month, police said yesterday.
Police said that after reviewing CCTV footage, they had listed 26 individuals as helping bring the statue down on Feb. 22 and were in the process of identifying them.
The police dismissed criticism that they did not take action to prevent the statue’s defacement, after Tainan City Councilor Hsieh Lung-chieh (謝龍介) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said police officers on the scene at the time did not respond when pro-Taiwan independence activists set up a ladder and ropes, and painted “ROC out” on the back of the statue before it was brought down.
However, Tainan Police officials said two policemen had been on hand, but that they were outnumbered by the throng of activists.
When backup arrived, the statue had already been taken down.
The police arrested Alliance for a Referendum to Safeguard Taiwan convener Tsai Ting-kui (蔡丁貴) over the incident and turned him over to the Tainan Prosecutors’ Office. He was later released.
Alliance secretary-general Lee Shu-ju (李述儒) said after the incident that the statue had a damaged base and posed a risk to public safety. Lee said his group harbors no opinions against Sun.