Sun, Apr 20, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Legislature willing to let protesters pay for damage

Staff writer, with CNA

If student protesters and civic groups decide to pay for the damage caused during their 24-day occupation of the main legislative chamber, the Legislative Yuan will respect the decision, Legislative Yuan Secretary-General Lin Hsi-shan (林錫山) said.

Lin said that the legislature would not take the initiative to contact the students or civic groups and would “wait for them” to make the first move.

On Friday, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said that Rock Hsu (許勝雄), the chairman of the Taiwan-based Chinese National Federation of Industries, had offered to pick up the NT$2.85 million (US$94,400) tab for the damage, but civic groups rejected the offer.

Democratic Front Against Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement convener Lai Chung-chiang (賴中強) said that by paying for the damage, Hsu would have the right to seek compensation from the students, which he believed “would cause unnecessary disputes ... and not live up to public expectation.”

Lai said the students and civic groups would pay for the damage instead.

Hsu said he had “no comment on who will pay, as long as the problem is solved.”

According to Lin, Hsu first broached the idea of paying for the damage when he contacted Wang at the end of last month.

Hsu again confirmed his willingness to foot the bill before Wang visited the students and promised to pass an oversight law on cross-strait agreements, a key demand of the students-led protesters, to end the occupation, Lin said.

Hsu said he was initially worried that the protests over the controversial cross-strait service trade agreement could get out of control and that society would pay a bigger price.

Hsu called Wang and pledged to pick up the tab so that the student protesters would not have to face the question of compensation.

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