Fri, Mar 01, 2019 - Page 3 News List

KMT brass call for peace, national solidarity on 228

BIPARTISAN ISSUE:Former president Ma Ying-jeou said that most victims of the Incident and their relatives had been compensated during his tenure as justice minister

By Shih Hsiao-kuang, Lin Liang-sheng and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

Former president Ma Ying-jeou, left, bows to the monument at the 228 Peace Memorial Park in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

Senior Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) members on the 72nd anniversary of the 228 Incident yesterday in separate statements called on the nation to maintain solidarity and to face the past together.

KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said that his father was wrongfully imprisoned for two years, and he understands the feelings of families of 228 victims.

Times of upheaval and turmoil tend to see many tragedies, with people imprisoned or losing their families, Wu said.

Former president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) was not innocent during the 228 Incident, but his contributions to the Republic of China and Taiwan should not be glossed over and trampled on, Wu said.

President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration has been fomenting violent acts, Wu said, adding that they are the side product of the Cabinet’s “ideological war.”

Wu was referring to incidents such as one on Feb. 28 last year, when advocates splattered Chiang’s tomb in Taoyuan with red paint, and on Friday last week, when a group vandalized a statue of Chiang at National Chengchi University.

Such actions do not benefit transitional justice, but create divisions in society by feeding anger and hate, Wu said.

When back in power, the KMT would attempt to restore order, he said.

Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) paid his respects at the 228 Peace Memorial Park in Taipei before visiting an exhibition at the Taipei 228 Memorial Museum, which borders the park.

Ma called for an end to violent acts and language, including the vandalization of Chiang’s statues and people kicking over plaques at the museum.

“We should face our history and consider it based on facts — only then can we distinguish right from wrong,” Ma said, adding that the public should show empathy for the families of victims and be more accepting.

Asked about transitional justice and rehabilitation, Ma said: “We have finished with that already.”

Rehabilitation efforts for victims of the 228 Incident have been under way since 1993 and most of the compensation for families of victims was processed during his tenure as minister of justice in accordance with the February 28 Incident Disposition and Compensation Act (228事件賠償與處理條例), Ma said.

Both sides should live up to the spirit of the law so that victims of the 228 Incident could truly be rehabilitated and accepted by the public, Ma said.

Meanwhile, KMT Legislator Wang Jyn-ping (王金平) on Facebook said that the nation must pursue the truth about the Incident and those responsible must shoulder the responsibility.

Reflection is necessary to prevent such events from happening ever again and history should never be forgotten, Wang said.

The 228 Incident ceased being a taboo on March 23, 1995, when the act was passed and former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) issued a formal apology to families of victims of the 228 Incident, Wang said.

The 228 Incident refers to an uprising that began on Feb. 27, 1947, and was violently suppressed by the then-KMT government. Estimates of the number of deaths vary from 10,000 to 30,000 or more. The Incident marked the beginning of the White Terror period.

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