Sun, Mar 23, 2014 - Page 3 News List

LEGISLATIVE SIEGE: TRA lauded as ‘Kitchen of Democracy’

JUST DOING THE JOB:A TRA official said the agency gladly supplied lunchboxes to protesters, but added that the service should not be labeled a political act

By Huang Li-hsiang and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A vendor from Huainan Market shows his support for people protesting outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday by offering them free corn cobs.

Photo: Wu Po-hsuan, Taipei Tim

The Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) said that it received the largest order for lunchboxes on Friday, totaling NT$136,000, put forward to support the protests at the Legislative Yuan.

TRA’s Taipei kitchen head Lee Kun-kuang (李坤光) said the restaurant received a call at 9:20am on Friday for 2,000 lunchboxes priced at NT$60 per lunchbox, and 280 vegetarian lunchboxes.

According to the TRA, it was the first time in its history that it had received a request in the morning to be delivered by noon, adding that the agency has completed its tasks on time every day.

“We rushed to process the order and had successfully delivered all the lunchboxes by 11:30am,” Lee said, adding that a man, who seemed to be about 50 years old and wearing a baseball cap with sunglasses, had come in person to pay.

He and the students’ representative agreed to meet at the TRA’s No. 1 lunchbox store at Taipei Main Station, Lee said, adding that when they met, the man told the students: “Just take the lunchboxes; I’ll pay for them.”

About 60 students took the lunchboxes to the protest site.

According to TRA Travel and Board Division Secretary-General Lin Chun-yao (林俊曜), the TRA Taipei kitchen is capable of making 10,000 to 20,000 lunchboxes per day, adding that while 2,000 lunchboxes were well within its capability, the short time frame would require the order to be placed at least two to three hours in advance.

Netizens praised the TRA for becoming the “Kitchen of Democracy” and making “anti-trade agreement lunchboxes.”

In response to the netizen’s praises, a TRA official said that while it was glad to provide the lunchboxes, the service was “neutral” and should not be labeled as “anti-trade agreement.”

Meanwhile, the student stakeout at the Legislative Yuan, along with the many supporters outside, has boosted business in the eateries in the area, shop owners said.

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