People can consider the statues of historical figures on school campuses as just stone and not care about their meaning, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday, adding that he is planning a way to deal with the issue “properly.”
Ko made the remarks at the launch of the Taipei City Government’s annual municipal administration summer camp for students. The camp’s first session is attended by undergraduate and graduate students.
A student from National Chiao Tung University said he used to see Chiang Kai-shek’s (蔣介石) bronze statue at the Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School’s front gate when he was a student there, and asked Ko what the city government would do regarding such statues on campuses and in government institutions to ensure transitional justice.
Photo: Chang Yi-chen, Taipei Times
“That is a sharp question to ask in front of all these journalists,” Ko jokingly said. “There are many statues of historical figures in Taiwan, such as Sun Yat-sen (孫中山), Wu Chih-hui (吳稚暉), Chiang, Lin Sen (林森) and Yu You-jen (于右任), so I have been thinking about whether I should deal with the statues altogether, or only the ones of Chiang.”
Ko said he has been reading Buddhism’s Diamond Sutra and was inspired by the four manifestations of self, adding: “It is a world full of labels, meaning that you label an object you see and react to the object because of that label.”
“Honestly, why do you not just see them [the statues] as stone?” Ko said, quoting the Zen Buddhist teaching: “It is not the wind or the flag that is moving, it is your heart that is moving.”
“The meaning of the statue is given to it by the viewer, but the question is why do they care so much about it?” Ko asked.
“After being mayor for a while, I realized that most people only pursue a stable life with ensured meals every day, they do not care so much about Taiwanese independence or unification with China, nor about the pan-green or pan-blue political camps,” he said.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
YOUNGEST PATIENT: Cases of botulism have been only sporadically reported over the past few years, with two in 2015, six in 2016 and none in the past three years The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday reported the nation’s first case of infant botulism this year, a four-month-old boy in northern Taiwan, as well as five new cases of Japanese encephalitis confirmed last week. The boy was introduced to homemade solid food in the middle of last month, but began to experience constipation and loss of appetite on June 23, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Deputy Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said, adding that he was taken to the hospital when he developed a fever and shortness of breath on June 25. In the hospital, the boy also experienced a rapid heartbeat, limb
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung