Transitional Justice Act: KMT pans transitional justice act

COVERAGE::The KMT supports measures to restore honor to people treated unfairly by the state, but they should be extended to the Japanese colonial era, Wu Den-yih said

By Jake Chung and Chen Wei-han  /  Staff writer and Staff reporter, with CNA

Thu, Dec 07, 2017 - Page 3

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday criticized the Act on Promoting Transitional Justice (促進轉型正義條例) at a KMT Central Standing Committee meeting, saying a less controversial version of the act would have won support from his party.

The act passed its third reading at the legislature on Tuesday.

Wu accused the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of abusing its legislative majority and forcing through the act, adding that the time frame and parameters of the inquiry are controversial.

The DPP-backed version of the act seeks to address injustices conducted between Aug. 15, 1945, when Emperor Hirohito announced the unconditional surrender of Japan, and Nov. 6, 1992, the official conclusion of the Period of National Mobilization for Suppression of the Communist Rebellion (動員戡亂時期) in Kinmen and Lienchiang counties.

The KMT supports measures to restore honor and credibility to people treated unfairly by the judiciary or by executive orders, but the dates and parameters of such measures should be extended to the Japanese colonial era and should include Aborigines and comfort women, Wu said.

Kinmen and Lienchiang counties should also be included, he added.

The act empowers administrative organs with broad judiciary powers and gives the government free rein to nominate members to a committee to oversee investigations, which blatantly violates the Constitution and the spirit of the separation of powers, Wu said.

The KMT seeks to guarantee and protect Taiwan’s hard-won democracy by filing petitions for constitutional interpretations on the matter, Wu said.

The clause stating that political parties and affiliated organizations should report that they hold relevant political files, and that such files are subject to becoming nationalized, is a direct infringement of rights to property by private groups, Wu said.

President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration and the DPP will not succeed in obfuscating their ineptness of government by passing the act, Wu said, adding that Taiwanese are not easily fooled and the DPP government would do well to realize that it cannot do as it pleases.

The act stipulates the establishment of a Committee on Promoting Transitional Justice under the Executive Yuan, which would declassify political files, remove authoritarian-era symbols and retry cases of injustice from that era.

The committee would be disbanded after it provides a complete report on past injustices, according to the act.

Meanwhile, Tsai said yesterday that passage of the act is a milestone in Taiwan’s democratic development.

“I said on the 30th anniversary of the 228 Incident that ‘the goal of transitional justice is to achieve reconciliation instead of confrontation. It is the principle that the government will insist on. The nation can move forward only when all of its people can face the past,’” Tsai said during a meeting of the DPP’s Central Standing Committee.

“I look forward to the day when transitional justice is achieved, when there are no political parties in Taiwan that have to carry the burden of an authoritarian regime and when people no longer hate each other because of a history tinged with suffering,” she said.

The nation will evolve and its democracy will advance, Tsai said, thanking the DPP caucus for the legislation.