Taiwan Republic Office director Chilly Chen (陳峻涵) was on Friday ordered confined to his home after allegedly throwing eggs at a Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) statue in the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.
The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office ordered Chen to remain in his residence for allegedly contravening the Cultural Heritage Protection Act (文化資產保存法).
Chen said his actions were in protest of comments made by Minister of Culture Lee Yung-te (李永得), who on Wednesday said he did not support the removal of the statue, as protesters seeking to get rid of the sculpture have been taking “a more moderate approach.”
Photo: Chen Yu-fu, Taipei Times
“Lee’s comments take the tolerant nature of Taiwanese for weakness,” Chen said, adding that the remarks show disregard for the pain of the political victims of the former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime and their descendants.
Chen said that throwing eggs at the statue was his “non-moderate” method of expressing his view that there can be no justice if Chiang’s statue remains.
Taiwanese have endured the oppression of the KMT regime under Chiang, after the 228 Massacre and throughout the White Terror era, Chen said.
“We had hoped that with a localized party [the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)] in power, holding a legislative majority, it would make known the truths of the massacres and hold the KMT to account for its past injustices and wrongs, and yet to this day Chiang’s statue is still enshrined at the hall,” he said.
Of the 848 Chiang statues in Taiwan, about 400, mostly at Ministry of National Defense and Veterans Affairs Council facilities, have not been processed for removal, government data showed.
Academics have called on the DPP government to present a clear policy on reducing the number of Chiang statues.
Lo Cheng-chung (羅承宗), a professor at the Institute of Financial and Economic Law at Southern Taiwan University of Science and Technology, on Thursday said that the first Chiang statue was set up in front of the Control Yuan on Dec 25, 1946.
In the decades that followed, county and city governments would erect Chiang statues to celebrate the KMT leader’s birthday, he said.
Lo said that President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration should prioritize the removal of the statues.
Citing the statue at the memorial hall in particular, Lo said the Tsai government should not waste money on the changing of the guard for a statue of a person that few ever think of.
Additional reporting by Chen Yu-fu
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