Thu, Mar 01, 2018 - Page 3 News List

228 Remembered: Families urge government action

By Chang Jui-chen and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff writer, with staff reporter

As the Taichung City Government commemorated the 228 Incident yesterday, family members of victims invited to speak at the event accused the central government of not doing enough to uphold transitional justice.

The 228 Incident refers to a nationwide uprising against the then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime that was brutally suppressed by the army.

The ensuing massacre marked the beginning of the nation’s White Terror era and death toll estimates vary from 10,000 to more than 30,000.

Greater Taichung 228 Association president Liao Ling-hui (廖苓惠), who is the family member of a 228 victim, panned the government-funded Memorial Foundation of 228’s lack of initiative, saying its chairman “does nothing other than take tea with milk and watch TV.”

Chen Shuang-shih (陳雙適), 89, daughter of 228 victim Chen Hsin (陳炘), said that although 71 years had passed, nothing is known of the story surrounding his demise or the whereabouts of his remains.

The families of 228 victims deserve to know the truth, she said, adding that the nation must establish freedom, democracy and human rights as its core values to bring peace to the victims and their loved ones.

Before his demise, Chen Hsin completed a doctorate in economics at the Columbia University in New York City and was one of Taiwan’s first native-born bankers, Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said in a speech.

Chen Hsin’s contributions include founding the first Taiwanese-controlled bank, Tatung Trust Co and electronics firm Tagong Enterprises Co, Lin said.

He was also an active member of Taiwan’s nascent civil society and editor of the influential journal Taiwan Youth, Lin said.

During the massacre, the government ordered Chen Hsin’s execution for “leading a conspiracy to commit treason” and for having managed Taiwan Trust Co, which was under Japanese authority during World War II, Lin said.

The body of Chen Hsin has never been recovered, Lin said.

Respect for human rights is fundamental to the Taiwanese national spirit and it is important to foster in each citizen the determination to stand up for justice and equality against hegemonies that would oppress Taiwan, Lin said.

He supports the legislation of a human rights eduction act that would integrate human rights into the public education curriculum, Lin said, adding that this would make Taiwan “a great human rights nation.”

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