Dapu families present New Year’s couplet to Premier Jiang
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-01-27 01:44 PM
The Ministry of Interior has yet to decide whether it will appeal a ruling by the Taichung High Administrative Court on January 3 against the ministry in its handling of the demolition of the last four buildings holding up the widening of a road in Dapu Township in Miaoli County last year. In the meantime members of the four families whose structures were leveled visited the Executive Yuan Monday morning to present couplets to Premier Jiang Yi-huah and Minister of the Interior Li Hong-yuan.

The couplets carried a message for the Lunar New Year as well as the families’ hopes that the government will not press forward with another appeal in the case. Asked how she planned to spend the Chinese New Year this time around, Peng Hsiu-chun, the widow of the late owner of the Chang Family Pharmacy, one of the four buildings torn down to make way for a road through a planned scientific park, could only blurt out, "I wish you all a Happy New Year."

The scroll presented by the four families read "Strife between the government and the people makes a mockery of human rights, the hearts of those in high levels are cold to the lower levels of society" as well as "With the arrival of spring, it is time to build homes in Dapu," Peng told reporters, "The court has already declared us the winners, we hope there will be no more appeals, we just want to rebuild our homes."

Peng offered handmade ginger candy and scrolls to show the families’ appreciation for the people and media who have supported them in their dispute with the local government.

The Taichung court’s ruling against the Ministry of Interior called for it to decide on whether to lodge an appeal within 20 days of official notifications, which would put the deadline at Wednesday, January 29. Deputy Interior Minister Hsiao Chia-chi informed reporters, however, that the ministry is still deliberating whether it will appeal the case. A total of five meetings have been held with representatives of the local government as well as scholars, lawyers and other experts related to the case and the ministry is still analyzing opinions and finalizing its position.

Hsiao said the options facing the ministry include filing an appeal or a partial appeal; not filing an appeal; filing an appeal and then seeking reconciliation; or filing a passive appeal. Officials of the ministry are still weighing these and other options to settle on the best course of action.

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