Premier Lin Chuan (林全) yesterday vowed to tighten law enforcement after protesters blocked foreign athletes from participating in a parade during the opening ceremony of the Summer Universiade in Taipei on Saturday.
Lin ordered the National Police Agency (NPA) to implement security measures with an “iron fist” and detain anyone who poses a threat to athletes or spectators.
Police will also confiscate air horns used by protesters if the noise disrupts the Games, Lin said.
People opposed to President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) pension reform policies blocked athletes from entering the Taipei Municipal Stadium where she was scheduled to welcome the participants.
“The Universiade is a major event for Taiwan and I am proud of it. However, I regretted that athletes were obstructed from entering the stadium and I strongly condemn the violence. I have ordered authorities to investigate illegal activities and increased security measures will be carried out to protect the athletes and audience to ensure the Games proceed smoothly,” Lin said.
“Regardless of party affiliation or personal points of view, everyone should be united in organizing the Universiade and protect the nation’s image,” he added.
Following the protests, Lin called a high-level security meeting attended by Vice Premier Lin Hsi-yao (林錫耀), Minister of the Interior Yeh Jiunn-rong (葉俊榮) and NPA Director-General Chen Kuo-en (陳國恩) to plan the additional security measures.
Lin also ordered an investigation into possible lapses in security that allowed the protesters to break through a police barricade.
Disciplinary action will be taken against officers who are responsible for the security breach, while officers making contributions will be rewarded, Lin said.
Law enforcement officials helping maintain security during the Games will be rewarded, he said.
Executive Yuan spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) denied media reports that police perceived the disruption as an “accident” and thought that it would not incur any disciplinary action.
Taipei Police Department Commissioner Chiu Feng-kuang (邱豐光) reportedly notified the Presidential Office immediately after the ceremony and authorities agreed to his suggestion that no disciplinary measures be taken against police officers.
Hsu denied the reports, saying the incident was not an “accident” and negligent officers would be punished, as well as people who attacked police.
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