Mon, Mar 09, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Keelung plans to retire Chiang Kai-shek statues

’STEP BY STEP’:Keelung Mayor Lin Yu-Chang said at a memorial service for a 1947 massacre that such incidents could not happen again and lessons needed to be learned

By Lin Hsin-han and Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter, with Staff writer

Relatives of people killed by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) troops when they landed in Keelung following the 228 Incident in 1947 yesterday throw flowers into the city’s harbor to commemorate the victims

Photo: Lin Hsin-han, Taipei Times

The Keelung City Government plans to remove statues that depict Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) from the city’s schools and public offices, Keelung Mayor Lin Yu-chang (林右昌) said yesterday.

Casting flowers into the harbor in Keeling, hundreds of people — mostly families of victims of the March 8, 1947, massacre by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) troops — gathered to remember the tragedy.

The March 8 massacre occurred after KMT troops disembarked in Keelung, sent by Chiang to repress uprisings against the regime in Taiwan.

The memorial service was held at the city’s Maritime Plaza adjacent to where the troops landed 68 years ago.

“This is the first time that the city government is working with non-governmental groups to hold a memorial service for the event. We should all remember the lesson, and never let it happen again,” Lin said at the event. “I would like to announce that, starting now, statues of Chiang Kai-shek will be removed from official buildings and school campuses.”

“The city government will handle it step by step,” Lin added.

The statues would not be removed immediately, and the city government would wait until pubic facilities are renovated, he added.

Lin’s attitude on the statues has made a complete reversal from last week, when he was asked if Keelung would follow suit after Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) announced that the southern city would remove all statues of Chiang from schools. At the time, Lin said that he had no plan to do so, since the statues are meaningless today.

He did not explain why he changed his mind.

Lin’s announcement echoed a call made at the event by Democratic Progressive Party Keelung City Councilor Yu Hsiang-yao (游祥耀), who is also director of the Keelung 228 Memorial Foundation.

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