Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) has proposed amending the 228 Incident Disposition and Compensation Act (二二八事件處理及賠償條例) to abolish the Transitional Justice Commission and transfer its duties to the state-funded Memorial Foundation of 228.
The Act on Promoting Transitional Justice (促進轉型正義條例), passed in December last year, gives the commission the right to investigate cases, which is an anomaly in a democracy, Lai said, proposing to amend the act.
The 228 Incident Disposition and Compensation Act, the Compensation Act for Wrongful Trials on Charges of Sedition and Espionage During the Martial Law Period (戒嚴時期不當叛亂暨匪諜審判案件補償條例) and the Act Governing the Recovery of Damage of Individual Rights during the Period of Marital Law (戒嚴時期人民受損權利回復條例) were already in place when the commission was created, negating the need for a new agency in charge of dealing with authoritarian-era political incidents, and compensating victims and their families, Lai said.
He added that the draft amendments would assign similar responsibilities to one agency, streamlining the government.
The bill defines political victims as people who were persecuted or whose lives, bodies or property were harmed by the state as a result of the 228 Incident or other events between Aug. 15, 1945, and Nov. 6, 1992, in contravention of constitutional government, or democratic or liberal values.
Democratic Progressive Party caucus director-general Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) said that the most important aspect of transitional justice is identifying perpetrators and victims, thereby putting history in context.
The Act on Promoting Transitional Justice aims to compensate for the shortcomings of the 228 Incident Disposition and Compensation Act, which only stipulates compensation, he said, adding that the KMT should put matters into perspective and not shy away from identifying perpetrators.
The Memorial Foundation of 228, headed by Hsueh Hua-yuan (薛化元), has requested a budget of NT$73.48 million (US$2.37 million) for next year, which is to be reviewed by the Legislative Yuan.
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