Taiwan Quick Take


Sat, Dec 20, 2003 - Page 3

■ Taipei City

Falling tiles injure two

Two people were hurt by marble tiles falling off a newly decorated wall of a restaurant on the fourth floor of Taipei 101 Mall yesterday afternoon. The pair were slightly injured and released after being sent to a hospital for treatment, said an official of the city's Bureau of Public Works. According to Scott Chen (陳文光), vice president of Taipei 101 Mall, the accident was probably caused by construction work being done by the restaurant as it redecorated for Christmas. The Bureau of Public Works ordered the restaurant to close its doors until an investigation into the incident is completed.

■ Cross-Strait Ties

MAC urges talks on charters

Mainland Affairs Council Vice Chairman Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) said yesterday that the council has demanded that the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) contact its Chinese counterpart about holding talks on charter flights for the Lunar New Year holiday. The council hopes that the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait will respond quickly, Chen said, adding that he strongly believes that the two sides can work out resolutions as long as both are sincere in dealing with the matter. Chen's remarks followed media reports that the council was trying to persuade six Taiwanese carriers to conduct charter flights again next year. The council has said the six are willing to cooperate. However, the Taipei Airline Association has said the demand for such flights is not very high, and no airline has submitted an application to provide the service.

■ Society

Custody struggle continues

Kaohsiung District Court held a civil court session yesterday in an attempt to settle the latest twist to the custody case of Taiwanese-Brazilian boy Iruan Ergui Wu's (吳憶樺), but no agreement was reached between Wu's uncle and the Brazilian representative office. Wu's Taiwanese relatives filed an appeal to a court order designating an member of the Brazil Business Center escort Wu back to Brazil. The lawyer representing the center requested that Wu be sent to Brazil within a week. The lawyer asked Wu's uncle, Wu Huo-yen (吳火眼), to bring the boy to CKS International Airport within a week and hand him over to a center staffer there. Wu Huo-yen said he will risk everything, including prosecution, to keep the boy with him if Iruan does not want to return to Brazil.

■ politics

Chen confident of victory

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said yesterday that he is confident that he will be re-elected in the March 20 presidential election. Chen spoke at a ceremony to express gratitude to the voluntary workers and several associations who have contributed significantly to the reformatory education of criminals. The president said they had carried out a most difficult task, one which needs tremendous patience and selfless love. "Saving a person equals saving a family and a whole society, " Chen said, adding that their devotion deserves respect. Chen has designated May 20 -- the date of his 2000 inauguration -- as the "Day of Volunteers" for Taiwan and marked it with a campaign of volunteer services led by him every year since then. Saying that he feels confident he will win re-election, Chen said he hopes he can continue volunteering his services next May 20.