Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-02-28 04:33 PM
Starting in February 1947, tens of thousands of Taiwanese lost their lives in a revolt against the corrupt and dictatorial rule of KMT leader Chiang Kai-shek and his Taiwan governor Chen Yi. In the years following the event, numerous people disappeared, faced executions or were imprisoned for long terms in what became known as “the White Terror.”
The KMT let the government pay compensation, but it refused to take any legal responsibility for the destruction of so many people’s lives, said Koo, a contender for the nomination as Taipei City mayoral candidate for the opposition Democratic Progressive Party. All the money handed to the victims’ families came from taxpayers, and not one cent from the KMT itself, he added.
Koo was speaking at a commemorative event staged by the Taiwan Nation Alliance at Taipei’s Yenping North Road, where the revolt began.
DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang said that in order to stabilize its control over Taiwan, the KMT used violence to force its people into submission and make them fear resistance and protest. An opposition party emerged much later and won power to reveal at least part of the truth about the 228 Incident, Su said in a reference to his own party, which governed Taiwan from 2000 to 2008.
The country needed to stand by and defend its sovereignty and democracy in order to prevent another 228 Incident from occurring, Su told the crowds. The event was also attended by former Premier Yu Shyi-kun and by Taipei City mayoral hopefuls ex-Vice President Annette Lu and lawmakers Hsu Tain-tsair and Yao Wen-chih.
The TNA started a march from Yenping North Road to Liberty Square in front of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall at 2:28 p.m. precisely.
At a separate event, former DPP Chairman Lin Yi-hsiung marked a personal tragedy. On this day in 1980, his mother and two daughters were assassinated by an unknown person believed to have been working for the KMT government of the time. Lin, his wife and former DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen commemorated the day with prayers at the church which used to be Lin’s home, where the relatives were murdered.
The former DPP leader said he disagreed with an alleged statement by independent Taipei mayoral contender Ko Wen-je that it was no longer necessary to seek out the true culprits for the 228 Incident and that the event could be let to slide slowly into history.
Lin said society should closely research and investigate important historical events as a lesson for the next generations.
Asked about Ko’s statements, Su told reporters that only the revelation of the truths about the events could lead to full understanding and to forgiveness. If the later generations understood what had happened, the victims would not have died in vain, Su reportedly said.