Wed, Jun 03, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Councilors seek to preserve White Terror burial site

By Hsiao Ting-fang, Aaron Tu and Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

Taipei City councilors yesterday called for the designation of a dilapidated cemetery in the Liuzhangli (六張犁) area as a historic site to preserve the only remaining burial site of people killed during the White Terror era.

The Park Commemorating Victims of Political Persecution during the Martial Law Period (戒嚴時期政治受難者紀念公園) in Xinyi District (信義) has fallen into disrepair due to the city government’s negligence, Taipei City councilors Chien Shu-pei (簡舒培) and Lee Chien-chang (李建昌) said during an inspection of the park.

Neglected graves in the cemetary stand in marked contrast with the well-kept tomb of former minister of national defense Pai Chung-hsi (白崇禧), which was designated a municipal historical site and received nearly NT$3 million (US$97,768) in government subsidies for maintenance in 2012, they said.

The burial ground housing 206 graves was where the Taiwan Garrison Command buried the unclaimed bodies of those it executed in the 1950s, Lee said.

The Taipei Mortuary Services Office, the authority overseeing the upkeep of the park, has contracted out maintenance of the site and the city government has not allocated any budget for the park’s conservation since 2012, Lee said.

Chien said that the department has failed to honor a pledge it made in 2001 to designate the park as a cultural asset.

She urged Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), whose grandfather was imprisoned during the White Terror era, to expedite the designation process to establish transitional justice.

Ko said he would instruct the department to form a task force with the Taipei Department of Civil Affairs to deal with the issue.

Taipei Department of Cultural Affairs official Wang Ping-wu (王秉五) said the department would start an evaluation process and conduct an inspection of the park within a month.

The White Terror era saw the government seek to suppress political dissent during the Martial Law era from 1949 to 1987.

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