Control Yuan members Tsai Chung-yi (蔡崇義) and Fan Sun-lu (范巽綠) on Feb. 24 released a report on the 1980 murders of family members of political activist Lin I-hsiung (林義雄).
Intelligence agencies of the then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government, spearheaded by the now-defunct Taiwan Garrison Command, interfered with the investigation of the case, the report said.
Even though the report does not have a definite conclusion, the two Control Yuan members examined the case thoroughly and believe that the investigation should continue. The Executive Yuan should make sure it does.
On Feb. 28, 1980, the killer broke into Lin’s house, where they fatally stabbed his 60-year-old mother, Lin Yu A-mei (林游阿妹), and his seven-year-old twin daughters, Lin Ting-chun (林亭均) and Lin Liang-chun (林亮均). Lin I-hsiung’s eldest daughter, Lin Huan-chun (林奐均), nine years old at the time, was severely injured. What kind of tremendous cruelty did it take for somebody to carry out these brutal crimes?
The report says that KMT intelligence agencies such as the Taiwan Garrison Command and the National Security Bureau not only intervened in the investigation, but also covered up the crime, misleading the media and the public.
The bureau’s 307 task force assigned to the case destroyed important evidence, which it would not have dared do had it not been instructed to do so from someone high up. From the outset, the KMT interfered with the investigation, and even now, more than 40 years later, the truth is still being withheld.
It is regrettable that intelligence agencies in this country were complicit in hindering a murder investigation. When China-born US writer Henry Liu (劉宜良) — whose pen name was Chiang Nan (江南) — was assassinated by KMT agents in the US, the country’s intelligence agencies solved the case as quickly as they could.
This raises suspicion that the KMT’s agents were actually behind the murders of Lin I-hsiung’s family members, too. If so, the investigation would be futile, for it would demand that the perpetrator arrest the perpetrator. This is also why the report released by the Control Yuan members lacks a definite conclusion and why the investigation must continue.
Taiwanese can at times be too credulous. It was not a coincidence that the Lin family murders took place on Feb. 28. The message of intimidation could not have been clearer. Lin I-hsiung has every right to demand the truth. He should be the first person to know who killed his mother and daughters, and who else was behind the killings. It is also the duty and responsibility of all Taiwanese to demand that the truth be uncovered. The cruelty of the authoritarian era should not be concealed and past mistakes should not be repeated.
Even though the Executive Yuan and the Legislative Yuan have been run by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for seven years, the DPP has failed to invest adequate resources and state power to solve the Lin case.
The Control Yuan members could only bring their unfinished report to a temporary conclusion. It is their means of forcing the Executive Yuan to devote more resources to the case. Their report was in fact a subtle protest.
Without the truth, it is impossible to achieve peace. As former South African archbishop Desmond Tutu believed, even when we are overwhelmed by evil, we must open the wounds and clean them.
The DPP government can no longer remain weak. When dealing with the 228 Incident in 1947 and the murders of Lin’s family on the same date in 1980, the DPP must commit itself to finding the truth. The DPP and Taiwanese should not tolerate evildoers sheltered by the administrations of authoritarian-era presidents Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國).
They must face the past seriously and carry out transitional justice earnestly. Only in so doing can Taiwan stride confidently toward the future.
Twu Shiing-jer is a former Chiayi mayor and former national policy adviser.
Translated by Liu Yi-hung
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