Sun, Mar 04, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Transitional justice panel could be picked next month

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

A nine-member committee to facilitate transitional justice would be established next month at the earliest, Executive Yuan spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said yesterday, three days after the nation commemorated the anniversary of the 228 Incident, which marked the beginning of the White Terror era.

The Incident refers to a crackdown launched by the then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime against civilian protesters following an incident in Taipei on Feb. 27, 1947.

The ensuing massacre and imposition of martial law marked the beginning of the decades-long White Terror era, during which thousands of Taiwanese were arrested, imprisoned and executed.

Historians have estimated that 10,000 to 30,000 people were killed.

Speaking on the sidelines of a forum on peace in East Asia in Taipei, Hsu said that the Executive Yuan has yet to complete the nomination process for members of the “transitional justice promotion committee,” but it would submit the nomination list to the legislature as soon as possible.

“The Legislative Yuan will continue general questioning of government officials until the end of this month and everyone is predicting, based on past experiences, that next month is the most likely time for lawmakers to vote on the nominations,” Hsu said.

Calling the prediction “extremely reasonable,” Hsu said that the committee would become operational shortly after nominated members receive legislative confirmation.

However, whether and where lawmakers would put the nominations on the legislative agenda is up to them, he said.

Premier William Lai (賴清德) at a commemoration of the 71st anniversary of the Incident on Wednesday said that he would send his nominations for the committee to the Legislative Yuan as soon as possible.

“We will make sure that the truth about the 228 Incident is uncovered and that similar tragedies are avoided,” Lai said.

The establishment of the committee is required by the Act on Promoting Transitional Justice (促進轉型正義條例), which cleared the legislative floor in December last year.

The act stipulates that the committee is to be made up of nine members, including a chairperson and a vice chairperson, with the number of members from any single political party capped at three.

The members are to be nominated by the premier and approved by the legislature. Their tenure is not to expire until after the committee completes its initial task of compiling a detailed investigative report, a plan of action and draft legislation, which it is to do within two years before being dissolved.

The committee’s tasks revolve around five missions: opening up political archives; removing authoritarian symbols and preserving historical sites of injustice; redressing past miscarriages of justice, restoring historical truth and facilitating social reconciliation; handling and reassigning illegitimately acquired party assets; and addressing other matters related to transitional justice.

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