Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), during a ceremony to commemorate the 68th anniversary of the 228 Incident yesterday, called for an end to “mistakes in history” and for the establishment of Taiwan as an “authentically free and democratic” nation.
With police ubiquitous near entrances and barbed wire ringing park walls, a solemn crowd of several hundred gathered in front of the 228 Memorial Monument, with most participants quietly holding up white chrysanthemums to symbolize mourning for the 228 victims.
Strong political symbolism infused the service, which was conducted in Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese) and attended by many prominent pan-green politicians.
Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times
“It’s only been a little more than 20 years since authoritarian rule ended in Taiwan, and we have yet to achieve complete success in transitional justice and locally oriented education, as well as our efforts in seeking fairness and justice, and we’re often met with challenges from conservatives,” Tsai said.
“I would like to promise all of you here that if the DPP has another chance to be in power, we will face these challenges bravely, seriously pushing for transitional justice, democratic education and social justice, so that democracy in Taiwan will be more progressive and strong, so that more young people will have the opportunity to be more familiar with Taiwan, and to have a better understanding of our past,” she added.
“Each one of us Taiwanese has a mission: We should put an end to all mistakes in history and, for generations to come, we will make Taiwan an authentically free and democratic country,” she said.
Taiwan Nation Alliance chairman Wu Shu-min (吳樹民) echoed Tsai’s statement, voicing his expectation that Tsai will lead Taiwanese in the search for transitional justice.
“I’m looking forward to Tsai having the opportunity to lead all Taiwanese in the realization of transitional justice next year, and to bestow justice on all 228 victims by discovering the full truth,” he said.
The ceremony opened with a singing of Taiwan the Green (台灣翠青), a Taiwanese Presbyterian Church hymn which has been promoted as Taiwan’s “national anthem” by many independence activists. Taiwanese composer Hsiao Tyzen (蕭泰然) — who passed away last week — set the hymn to music and included it in his 1947 Overture (一九四七序曲), composed in commemoration of the 228 Incident.
A memorial concert was also held, with participants sharing squid surimi (魷魚糜), the dish the family of several prominent victims were preparing when they were arrested.
Independent Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) was notably absent, despite being listed as a memorial service speaker.
PILLAGING PENGHU: A 7,539-tonne Chinese ship found mining sand in the Formosa Banks area was escorted by several CGA ships to a Kaohsiung harbor The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) yesterday announced that it had dispatched ships to intercept Chinese dredging vessels operating in the nation’s territorial waters near Penghu and detained 10 crew members, who were transported to Kaohsiung. A coast guard patrol discovered more than 20 dredging vessels in an area known as the Formosa Banks, 46 nautical miles (85km) southwest of Penghu County’s Cimei islet (七美) at about 5am on Wednesday. The agency responded by dispatching two patrol boats, the 3,000-tonne Kaohsiung and the 500-tonne Penghu, along with two frigates, to intercept the Chinese vessels, while an airborne observation unit was used to monitor
‘HONEYMOON’ IS OVER: A political science professor said that the Tsai administration’s popularity peaked after it successfully contained COVID-19, but is waning President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) and Premier Su Tseng-chang’s (蘇貞昌) approval ratings fell significantly this month in the wake of the government’s handling of the distribution of relief funds and stimulus coupons to people and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a poll released yesterday by the New Power Party (NPP) showed. The poll showed that 68 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with Tsai’s performance, down 8.9 percentage points from last month, while 21 percent said they disapproved of her performance. Her approval among respondents aged 20 to 29 fell 14.7 percentage points, the largest decrease when compared with other age
CAUTION: The CECC would first observe how the nation fares after easing domestic restrictions and wait for the pandemic to further subside before making its next move The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that relaxing domestic restrictions and border controls simultaneously might complicate efforts to reopen the nation, amid discussions about Taiwan’s exclusion by other countries in their first lists of tourists. The center hopes for there to be a period of observation following the easing of domestic restrictions, before it decides what to do next, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, told a daily news briefing in Taipei. Chen was responding to a question about the reasoning behind the central government’s decision not to allow foreign students into the
Taiwan respects other countries’ decisions not to include it in their first lists of tourists allowed entry when they reopen their borders, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The Yomiuri Shimbun on Sunday reported that the Japanese government was considering reopening the country to tourists from Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand first. Greece on Friday announced that from June 15, it would allow visitors from 29 countries, including Australia, China, the Czech Republic, Japan, Israel, New Zealand, South Korea and Germany. Japan has not yet finalized its visitor list, but the ministry has conveyed its hope that Tokyo would