Sat, Feb 24, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Local groups hold 228 memorial in Tsai’s hometown

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Demonstrators yesterday parade in front of President Tsai Ing-wen’s ancestral home in Pingtung County’s Fonggang Village to launch a
campaign to commemorate the 228 Incident. The demonstrators also proposed establishing a “Republic of Taiwan” through the drafting
of a new constitution.

Photo: Tsai Tsung-hsien, Taipei Times

Taiwanese history studies and cultural groups in southern Taiwan yesterday launched a series of 228 Massacre commemoration events with a rally in President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) hometown in Pingtung County’s Fonggang (楓港), at which they called on the Tsai government to “awaken Taiwan’s soul” and to “build a new nation and draft a new constitution.”

It was part of a series of activities to remember the tragedy that is to culminate in gatherings across Taiwan on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The 228 Incident refers to the crackdown launched by the then-KMT regime following an uprising in Taipei on Feb. 27, 1947.

Martial law was imposed later that year and not lifted until 1987. Thousands of people were killed during an era that became known as the White Terror and an estimated 140,000 to 200,000 were imprisoned.

Former Democratic Progressive Party lawmakers Liang Mu-yang (梁牧養) and Wei Yao-chien (魏耀乾) led the rally and were joined by members of the Taiwan People Alliance for Drafting New Constitution, Southern Taiwan Society and Presbyterian Church of Taiwan.

“Taiwan belongs to the peoples of Taiwan; we are not Chinese. We must build our own Taiwan nation,” Wei said. “The 228 Massacre was committed by people acting for a foreign regime, who killed native Taiwanese people. It was a grievous atrocity and we must not forget it.”

The rally began with the singing of Taiwanese folk songs and marching tunes for street protests composed by guitarist Wang Ming-tse (王明哲), known as the poet-singer of the Taiwan nationalist movement.

The singing was followed by a prayer and blessing led by Presbyterian ministers and pep talks by Liang, Wei and Chia, whose cars drove through several towns in the county in a parade before heading to Kaohsiung’s 228 Peace Park for another evening rally.

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