Mon, Mar 02, 2015 - Page 3 News List

228 MASSACRE MEMORIAL: Chiang statues to remain: Mayor Ko

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS:Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan said that the statues in Taoyuan public offices and schools would be moved to the former leader’s mausoleum

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff writer, with CNA

The Taipei City Government would not follow Tainan in removing Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) statues, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday.

“Keeping Chiang statues in place does not mean spiritual surrender, but the fact that we can finally overcome history and be our own masters,” he said yesterday at a convention at his alma mater, National Hsinchu Senior High School.

“Personally speaking, I would avoid provoking confrontation in Taipei, and I would keep the statues as evidence of history,” the Taipei mayor added.

Ko made the remarks when responding to questions from the media, after Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) said on Friday that he is considering the establishment of a task force to remove statues and busts of Chiang from school campuses in the city, amid protests targeting the statues across the nation.

Keelung Mayor Lin Yu-chang (林右昌) agreed with Ko, saying: “I would not remove or relocate Chiang statues in Keelung, as those statues hardly mean anything today, and it is unnecessary to provoke radicalization by foregrounding any specific ideology.”

However, Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) said that statues of Chiang at Taoyuan’s public offices and school campuses would be relocated to a park attached to the Chiang’s mausoleum in the Dasi District (大溪), turning them into tourist attractions instead of political totems.

“Statues of Chiang and his son, Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), are symbols of the bygone authoritarian rule, and there is no reason to continue idolizing dictators today,” Cheng said.

“The statues would not be removed immediately, we would wait until public facilities are renovated,” Cheng added.

Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said that the government has to undertake the de-deification of Chiang to facilitate transitional justice, while establishing a historical perspective centered on Taiwanese.

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