President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday announced the declassification of all historical records relating to the 228 Incident, saying that the measure is critical to establishing the truth and expediting transitional justice.
“Pushing for transitional justice is one of the most important missions for Taiwan’s democracy, but we often have to discern the truth from the mists, with the most crucial yet complicated task being uncovering and collecting the relevant documents, which are scattered across various government agencies,” Tsai said on Facebook.
Tsai’s Facebook post came after the government released a press release touting similar moves, in which it said the speedy declassification of confidential files was aimed at meeting the public’s expectation of transitional justice.
Tsai said collecting such material is also fundamental to the government’s efforts to compile a report on transitional justice, “as many traces of history can be found in past government documents, which reveal the names of the people involved, related incidents or other key elements.”
Of the National Achieves Administration’s documents relating to the 228 Incident — which total 1.37 million pages — 4,617 documents were classified, but they have all now been declassified in their entirety, Tsai said.
“In addition, the related political files containing a total of 990,000 pages from 83 different government divisions were listed as pending transfer [to the administration]. The transfer process is expected to be completed by the end of June,” Tsai said.
The Cabinet plans to allocate additional funds to the National Archives Administration to facilitate a three-year-long investigation and collection of political materials relating to the 228 Incident and the Period of National Mobilization for Suppression of the Communist Rebellion, which is to begin on March 1, Tsai said.
“That will provide the foundation for the writing of our investigative report on transitional justice,” she said.
The 228 Incident refers to a crackdown launched by the then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime against civilian demonstrations following an incident in Taipei on Feb. 27, 1947. The event marked the beginning of the White Terror era, during which thousands of Taiwanese were arrested, imprisoned and executed. Historians estimate as many as 30,000 people were killed.
Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said the latest development, goals and purposes of the government’s transitional justice commitment are expected to be the focal points of Tsai’s first speech on the 228 Incident as president.
“Pushing for transitional justice is a necessary process for any democratic nation undergoing a transition from authoritarian rule… It is the government’s responsibility to deal with illegitimate party assets, uncover the truth about human rights violations and problematic policies enacted during the rule of the authoritarian regime, and to restore people’s rights,” Huang said.
The transitional justice bill and the political archives bill have been listed as the Democratic Progressive Party caucus’ priorites in the current legislative session, Huang said.
After the passage of the bills into law, an investigative report on the White Terror era is to be published and a truth and reconciliation commission established, Huang said.
REACHING OUT: President Tsai expressed condolences to the deceased man’s family and wished a speedy recovery to those who were wounded in the shooting The Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) on Monday called on the US to label organizations associated with the suspect in the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church shooting as domestic terrorists, following accusations that he was a member of a group backing unification with ties to the Chinese government. David Wenwei Chou (周文偉), 68, was arrested on Sunday and is being held in lieu of US$1 million bail at the Orange County Intake Release Center over a mass shooting at the California church that left one dead and five wounded. Local police suspect the shooting was politically motivated after they found notes in
NO CONSENSUS YET: Local governments and the CECC have agreed to change the ‘3+4’ self-isolation policy, but are still mulling what to replace it with The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) and local governments have agreed to ease restrictions on close contacts of COVID-19 cases, although the details are still being discussed, the center said yesterday. The discussions follow Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) on Saturday approving a proposal to shorten the “3+4” policy — three days of home isolation followed by four days of self-disease prevention — for close contacts who have received booster doses. “We did not reach a consensus on how to revise the current restrictions, but we all agreed that the administrative burden must be reduced and the intensity of restrictions must be eased,
OPPOSING CHINESE ‘HOSTILITY’: The bill orders the state secretary to create a plan to regain observer status for Taiwan, saying Taipei is a model contributor to world health US President Joe Biden on Friday signed a bill into law to help Taiwan regain observer status at the World Health Assembly (WHA), demonstrating Washington’s support for Taiwan’s international participation. Friday was the deadline for Biden to sign the bill (S.812), which directs “the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to regain observer status for Taiwan in the World Health Organization (WHO), and for other purposes.” The 75th WHA, the decisionmaking body of the WHO, is scheduled to meet in Geneva, Switzerland, from Sunday next week to May 28. The bill, introduced by US Senator Bob Menendez, chairman of the US Senate
LIVING WITH COVID-19: Close contacts with a booster shot would no longer follow the ‘3+4’ policy, instead practicing ‘0+7,’ or self-disease prevention for seven days Close contacts of COVID-19 cases who have received a booster shot no longer need to isolate at home, but should practice seven days of “self-disease prevention,” effective today, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that starting at 12am today, close contacts — people living in the same household — of those confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 are exempt from home isolation if they have received a booster shot of a COVID-19 vaccine. Data from other countries show that people who have received a booster shot are