Sun, Apr 15, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Justice committee views submitted

REVIEW:Some nominees wrote that the committee’s focus should be understanding histories and authoritarian symbols, while others called for their wholesale removal

By Tseng Wei-chen and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Transitional justice promotion committee chairman nominee Huang Huang-hsiung speaks at a forum in Taipei on March 18.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

While removing authoritarian symbols, the transitional justice promotion committee should aim to avoid exacerbating conflicts between opposing sides, committee chairman nominee Huang Huang-hsiung (黃煌雄) wrote in materials that were on Friday submitted to the legislature by the Executive Yuan for its review of the committee’s nominations.

Taiwanese hold divergent views on authoritarian symbols, Huang said, adding that if the committee could allow society to form a consensus on their removal, it would have succeeded.

When determining the truth and who holds responsibility, the committee should build trust, push for dialogue and allow people to decide which symbols are authoritarian and how to handle them, Huang said.

People often reduce the purpose of the committee to changing road names and the faces on currency, full-time committee member nominee and former Taiwan Association for Truth and Reconciliation chief executive Yeh Hung-ling (葉虹靈) wrote.

The handling of authoritarian symbols should not be the committee’s primary task — it should first uncover historical truths, then gradually describe the different types of authoritarian symbols and facilitate collective reflection to build a foundation for their future handling, she wrote.

Meanwhile, full-time nominee and Academia Sinica ethnologist Peng Jen-yu (彭仁郁) wrote that the committee should work to better understand diverse and conflicting histories so that the symbols could be handled appropriately under a high level of public consensus.

However, full-time nominee and Taiwanese literature academic Yang Tsui (楊翠) said that bronze statues of former presidents Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) should be removed.

Roads and public buildings named after authoritarian rulers should be renamed to show that the people deny the legitimacy of authoritarian rule, part-time nominee and Judicial Reform Foundation member Greg Yo (尤伯祥) wrote.

Nearly all of the items that were left by the German National Socialist Workers’ Party (Nazi party) have been removed, committee vice chairman nominee and Mainland Affairs Council Deputy Minister Chang Tien-chin (張天欽) wrote.

Handling the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall would be the best way to begin promoting transitional justice, part-time nominee and Academia Sinica Institute of Taiwan History director Hsu Hsueh-chi (許雪姬) wrote, with part-time nominee and National Taiwan University history professor Hua Yih-fen (花亦芬) agreeing that its handling should be the committee’s primary task.

The statue inside the hall could be moved to Taoyuan’s Cihu Memorial Sculpture Garden for preservation, but the hall itself should remain to help Taiwanese understand how the authoritarian ruler was introduced and the effect authoritarianism had on Taiwan before transitional justice, she wrote, adding that it could be turned into an art library or human rights museum.

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