Mon, Feb 22, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Taipei mayor opts out of 228 Incident ceremonies

By Lee Hsin-fang  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) is not scheduled to attend a memorial ceremony on Sunday to mark the 69th anniversary of the 228 Incident.

Taiwan Nation Alliance convener Yao Chia-wen (姚嘉文) quoted the Taipei City Government as saying that Ko would not attend the afternoon event and would instead send newly-appointed Taipei Deputy Mayor Chen Chin-jun (陳景峻) in his place.

The 228 Incident refers to the crackdown launched by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime against civilian demonstrations following an incident in Taipei on Feb. 27, 1947. The event also marked the beginning of the White Terror era that saw thousands of Taiwanese arrested, imprisoned and executed.

Sources close to Ko said that the mayor likely declined the invitation because he does not wish to recall the memories of his grandfather, Ko Shih-yuan (柯世元), who died from injuries he reportedly sustained during beatings by authorities.

Last year Ko attended the Taipei 228 Memorial Museum sponsored ceremony. Ko’s father, Ko Cheng-fa (柯承發), recounted how Ko Shih-yuan was arrested and imprisoned by then-KMT authorities for sheltering his Chinese friends who relocated to Taiwan after the defeat of KMT forces during the Chinese Civil War.

President-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is expected at this year’s ceremony, which is jointly held by the city government, the alliance and the Taiwan 228 Care Association, Yao said.

Tsai has been invited to sing late composer Tyzen Hsiao’s (蕭泰然) Taiwan the Green (台灣翠青) and she is also expected to present flowers to family members of the victims, Yao said.

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) is slated to present a “reputation-restoring certificate” to three family members of 228 victim Wang Jen-hou (王仁厚) at the museum-sponsored ceremony, which is scheduled for Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, Gongsheng Music Festival convener Lee Yi-kun (李怡坤) said that in addition to a Taipei concert, students are also planning to hold concerts in Taichung and Chiayi on Sunday to raise awareness about this chapter of Taiwanese history.

Event co-organizer Wen Tsung-han (溫宗翰) said there are four elements in addressing transitional justice — namely compensation for victims’ family members, the establishment of a truth commission, judicial trial and systemic reform — but the government has only issued compensation and failed to take further action.

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