Minister Without Portfolio Lin Wan-i (林萬億) yesterday said that it would be best to give the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall new functions and meaning, instead of dismantling it.
Lin, tasked with overseeing issues related to the transformation of the memorial hall, made the remarks after renewed calls from families of victims of the 228 Incident to dismantle the structure.
There is no timetable to decide the fate of the national historic site yet, as the Ministry of Culture is still compiling files that relate to its transformation, Lin said, adding that inter-departmental meetings would be held after the ministry submits its recommendation.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
There are many suggestions regarding the memorial hall’s transformation — issues such as its new name, new functions and how to deal with Chiang Kai-shek’s (蔣介石) statue, Lin said, adding that suggestions from the victims’ families would be respected, but at the same time, they should be viable.
Asked if dismantling the memorial hall is an option being considered by the government, Lin said that, instead of removing it or deserting it, the best thing would be to give the structure new functions and positive implications.
The memorial hall, a 250,000m2 attraction in the heart of Taipei, was completed in 1980 in memory of Chiang, who moved the Republic of China government to Taiwan in 1949 after fleeing China following his defeat in the Chinese Civil War.
However, families and relatives of victims persecuted during the Martial Law period have been calling for the memorial hall to be dismantled as they see Chiang as a violator of human rights who should not be treated as a national hero.
“We all know that the [statue of the] persecutor is inside the structure,” Liao Ying-hao (廖英豪), a grandson of a victim of the Incident, said during a commemorative event on Friday.
“It remains a stab in the heart for the victims unless the structure is removed,” he said, urging the government to make a decision soon.
The Incident refers to an uprising that began Feb. 28, 1947, which led to a bloody government crackdown.
Presidential Office spokesman Ting Yun-kung (丁允恭) on Friday said that the Legislative Yuan is working on a plan to remove the autocratic characteristics of the memorial hall.
The government aims to eventually come up with a solution that would promote social reconciliation and the country’s unity, Ting said.
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