Tue, Aug 01, 2017 - Page 3 News List

League’s demands unlikely to be met

CROSSING A LINE:A source said one of the demands had already been rejected and the others were not raised during three-party talks that took place last month

By Yang Chun-hui and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee chairman Wellington Koo adjusts his coat in an undated photograph in Taipei.

Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times

Demands by the National Women’s League that the government halt all investigations into its assets and affiliated organizations are its “unilateral opinions and wishes” that have already been rejected or are unlikely to be agreed to, an Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee member said yesterday.

The push-back by the league has also “crossed the committee’s red line,” the source said.

On Monday last week, the league filed a list of demands following a joint statement that outlined an agreement reached during negotiations between the committee, the Ministry of the Interior and the league. That statement — dubbed the ministry’s “three principles” — was supposed to provide a roadmap to resolve the league’s alleged mishandling of taxpayer-funded money given to the league between 1955 and 1989.

The statement said the league was to “donate” NT$31.2 billion (US$1.03 billion) of its assets to the government; “disband” by merging with a subsidiary, the Social Welfare Foundation; and allow public oversight of the Social Welfare Foundation and its two other subsidiaries, the Foundation for the Hearing Impaired and Hua Hsing Children’s Home.

Oversight would take the form of the government appointing one-third of the group’s board of directors and one-third would be public representatives, the statement said.

However, the league asked the government to refrain from taking further action against the charitable fund for veterans to the tune of NT$349.81 billion in today’s currency that it allegedly expropriated.

It asked for the right to nominate one-third of the board directors that are to represent the public, in addition to the one-third that it is already entitled to appoint.

It also asked the assets committee to refrain from “taking any further action whatsoever against organizations founded by the National Women’s League or any of its financial holdings.”

On Sunday, committee chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) said that public opinion is a factor in the continuing negotiations between the league and the government.

“One cannot accuse all negotiations with the blanket charges of opacity, compromise or failure; meaningful talks that solve the problem at hand should be seen as positive developments,” he said.

“From this committee’s perspective, if the league profess to believe certain organizations are its affiliates, then the committee is duty-bound to investigate them,” he said.

The committee member, who was involved in the three-party negotiations, said that the terms outlined in the league’s follow-up statement “were unilateral demands and opinions of the National Women’s League, and its demand for the committee to drop investigations on its affiliates had stepped on the committee’s ‘red line.’”

The league’s demand to nominate the public’s representatives on its subsidiaries’ boards had been raised during the three-party talks and been rejected by the committee.

The committee had agreed to the ministry’s “three principles” and nothing more, the official said.

None of league’s other demands were mentioned during the “three-party talks,” the official added.

“Carrying out the terms of the agreement that were arrived at during the negotiations will probably result in disputes over the fine print,” the official said.

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