Tue, Apr 22, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Former DPP chairman points finger at government before hunger strike

SACRIFICE:Lin Yi-xiong said he believed in cherishing his body, but leaders who did not listen left him with no choice, and they were the ones ‘savaging’ his body

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Anti-nuclear activists hold a press conference on Taipei’s Ketagalan Boulevard yesterday, demanding that the government halt construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant and not extend operations on the nation’s three other nuclear plants.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Lin I-hsiung (林義雄) reiterated in an open letter yesterday that he is starting a hunger strike today because of the government’s insistence on ignoring mainstream public opinion and continuing with the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Gongliao District (貢寮).

“I believe that everyone should cherish their bodies. If it wasn’t for the nation’s leaders ignoring public opinion and their insistence on constructing the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, I would not go on a hunger strike,” the 72-year-old wrote.

“So please understand, it’s those people — not me — who are savaging my body,” he added.

TRAMPLING DEMOCRACY

“If it weren’t for those in power who are trampling on the democracy that I’ve always believed in, I would not risk my life by going on a hunger strike,” Lin said.

“So if something unfortunate should happen to me, please understand that it’s those people — not me — who have killed me,” he added.

Lin, who announced his plan last week, is to go on a hunger strike at the Gikong Presbyterian Church (義光教會) on Taipei’s Xinyi Road, which was converted from the Lin family’s former residence after his mother and twin daughters were murdered there on Feb. 28, 1980, by an unknown assailant.

His eldest daughter, then nine years old, survived the attack.

According to Lin’s aide and the church, Lin would speak to reporters when he arrives at the church at about 10am today and attend a brief prayer ceremony accompanied by a minister and a Buddhist priest before starting his hunger strike.

Lin has turned down offers from friends and civic groups who wished to participate in the hunger strike.

He has also urged the public to refrain from staging activities to express their support outside the church so that the neighborhood will not be disturbed.

However, several civic groups and the DPP have decided to show their support for Lin’s cause with various activities.

DAILY DPP MARCH

The DPP will collaborate with the Power for People Movement, which will conduct a daily march from Gikong Church to the Legislative Yuan beginning today, DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said.

In an article posted on his Web site yesterday, Lin reiterated that there are other energy alternatives and measures that can fill the vacuum if the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant were halted.

The choices include improving power production efficiency, building smart grids and promoting energy-saving measures

Lin wrote that these were capable of generating 6 percent of the nation’s total electricity demand.

“The issue of nuclear power in Taiwan is one of ‘life and death,’” Lin wrote.

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