A memorial square is to be built on National Taiwan University’s (NTU) campus in honor of democracy advocate Chen Wen-chen (陳文成), the NTU Student Association said yesterday.
Chen, an NTU graduate and assistant professor at Carnegie Mellon University, was found dead on the campus on July 3, 1981, a day after being questioned by the Taiwan Garrison Command.
In 2011, the Dr Chen Wen-chen Memorial Foundation wrote to NTU about raising a monument in his honor, but received no response, the association said, adding that a student proposal sent to the Gallery of NTU History in 2012 also went unanswered.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
Following the passage of proposals for the name of the memorial square and a monument at university affairs meetings in 2014 and 2015, a call for designs was made in 2016, but funding became an issue the following year, it said.
While former NTU president Yang Pan-chyr (楊泮池) had promised that the university would cover half of the costs, NTU president Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) has refused to allow the university to fund or raise funds for the project, or help promote the foundation’s fundraising campaign due to the “political sensitivity” of the issue, the association said.
Nevertheless, the foundation has raised the NT$12 million (US$398,340) needed for the memorial square, the association said, adding that a donation agreement was signed with NTU on Monday.
The association said that it saw how the legacy of the authoritarian system endures in today’s democratic society when advocating for the construction of the memorial.
The truth has yet to be made public and justice has not been served, it said, adding that it hopes the memorial would prevent Chen’s death from being forgotten.
In related news, an annual event held by the foundation, the Taiwan Gongsheng Youth Association and 44 other groups to commemorate the 228 Incident, which is to mark its 73rd anniversary this year, is to return for its fourth edition.
This year, organizers said that they plan on marching past several historical sites related to the Incident, including Taipei’s Rixin Elementary School, the Tianma Tea House (天馬茶房) and the now-defunct Taiwan Province Monopoly Bureau’s Taipei branch.
During the march, participants are to read the names of the Incident’s victims and use sign language to perform poetry communicating the “silent voices” of the victims and their families, they said.
Through the event, organizers said that they hope to continue urging those in power to achieve transitional justice and the public to “refuse to forget and insist on resisting.”
Additional reporting by Peng Wan-hsin
The navy’s new 10,600-tonne warship is on Tuesday to be christened the ROCN Yushan (玉山), as the nation’s indigenous shipbuilding program reaches a milestone, sources said yesterday. The vessel, previously referred to as the “new landing platform dock,” was at a shipyard with its name freshly painted on the hull with the number 1401, the Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times) reported yesterday, citing an unnamed observer. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇), a member of the legislature’s National Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, confirmed the report in a Facebook post. The NT$4.635 billion (US$163 million) ship is designed
DIALOGUE SOUGHT: Washington said it was concerned about the pattern of ongoing attempts to intimidate Taiwan after the 10th day of PLA activity in the region The US on Monday urged Beijing to stop its multifaceted pressure campaign against Taiwan after China sent 25 military jets into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. “The United States notes with concern the pattern of ongoing PRC [People’s Republic of China] attempts to intimidate the region, including Taiwan,” a US Department of State spokesperson said in an e-mail response to questions. “We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure against Taiwan, and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan.” The Ministry of National Defense said that 25 Chinese military aircraft entered the zone on Monday. It was the 10th straight
INTERNATIONAL WEED DAY: Advocates are to hold a demonstration to push for the decriminalization of marijuana and allowing its use for treatment of certain conditions It is time for Taiwanese society to examine the medical benefits of cannabis, in line with the international trend to lift restrictions on and decriminalize the use of marijuana, two legislators said yesterday, ahead of tomorrow’s “Rally for Equal Rights for Cannabis” in Taipei. Taiwan is one of a few countries holding a “420 International Weed Day” event — which usually takes place around the April 20 weekend — as most nations have canceled it this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, said organizer Green Sensation, which is composed of doctors, lawyers and entertainers, among others. The group released a
‘NOT ENTHUSIASTIC’: People who have been approved by the CECC as special cases who need to travel, such as foreign diplomats, would be able to receive a vaccine The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday expanded the eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination to the fourth priority group — people who need to travel abroad for special reasons — adding that out-of-pocket vaccines would be available from Wednesday next week. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said although Taiwan’s COVID-19 vaccination program was on Monday expanded to include the top three groups in the priority list, people are still “not enthusiastic” about getting vaccinated. “Only 1,220 people received a vaccine shot on Tuesday, and a total of 27,113 people have received COVID-19 vaccination” so far, he