Premier orders police to evict protesters from Executive Yuan (update)
Central News Agency
2014-03-24 12:24 AM
Taipei, March 24 (CNA) Premier Jiang Yi-huah ordered the police to evict protesters who broke into the Executive Yuan compound Sunday evening, while condemning the "illegal and violent acts" resulting from demonstrations over a services trade agreement with China, a spokesman said. Hundreds of protesters stormed into the compound around 7:30 p.m. Many of them shifted from the occupation that began March 18 at the Legislative Yuan, which is located some 200 meters away. In response to the second storming of government buildings in six days, Jiang has instructed the National Police Agency to send reinforcements to the Executive Yuan to evict the intruders, said Sun Lih-chyun, the Cabinet spokesman. The premier also expressed sadness over the incident, said Sun. Jiang urged the public to remain calm and rational and to go about their business as usual after some of the protesters occupying the Legislature called on the students and workers around the country to go on strike, Sun said. The latest action by the protesters was said to be initiated by several activists who were part of the "Occupy Taiwan Legislature" movement. Wei Yang, one of the activists and a graduate student at National Tsing Hua University, said the storming of the Executive Yuan was an action separate from the occupation of the Legislative Yuan just a block away. The protesters have not decided on the next move, said Wei, a member of the civil group called Black Island-State Youth Front. As of midnight, the main office building was said to have been mostly cleared of protesters as the police were getting ready to disperse the crowd around the front and back entrances to the compound. Some protesters, including at least three students, were arrested. In the pushing and scuffles between the protesters and the police, 17 people were injured and sent to three nearby hospitals as of 11:40 p.m. The protesters at the Executive Yuan demanded President Ma Ying-jeou's apology, the premier's resignation the withdrawal of the services trade pact from the Legislature, which is in the progress of reviewing the pact. They also demanded new legislation to be drafted for a close monitoring of all agreements with China. (By Yuris Ku, Liu Chien-pang, Hsu Chih-wei and Elaine Hou)
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