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Student protesters tout achievement of having appeals met
Central News Agency
2014-04-07 10:43 PM
Taipei, April 7 (CNA) Student activists who have occupied the Legislature since March 18 to protest a controversial trade pact with China decided on Monday to end their action on April 10 because their main appeals had been met. Chen Wei-ting, one of the movement's leaders, said on Monday after announcing the withdrawal that the students had exceeded their expectations by having two draft bills on overseeing agreements between Taiwan and China submitted to the Legislature. They have also secured a pledge from Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng to enact an oversight bill before lawmakers review the controversial trade-in-services pact that Taiwan and China signed in June 2013 but has yet to be ratified by the Legislature., he said. As for the movement's future, Chen said it has built up momentum and turned into a full-blown social movement, and he hoped its influence would spread across the country. He also said the students hoped to reach out to grassroots communities by holding lectures, gatherings and online forums to promote the enactment of a law on monitoring cross-strait agreements and their opposition to the trade-in-services pact. At the same time, Chen said, the student group will continue to advocate the idea of holding a "citizens constitutional meeting" to make more people around Taiwan aware of the enormous challenges facing the country. Though the students garnered sympathy for their protest, they could still be legally liable for their actions. The Taipei District Prosecutors' Office said Monday that it has received complaints from 10 people against several of the student activists, including Chen and the movement's main spokesman Lin Fei-fan, for occupying the Legislature's main chamber, storming the Executive Yuan and damaging public property. A high-ranking Legislative Yuan official said, meanwhile, that it will cost more than NT$100 million and one month of work to repair damage done to the Legislature's main chamber and restore it to normal. (By Wen Kuei-hsiang, Tai Ya-chen, Liu Shi-yi, Liu Jian-bang and Wang Chin-yi and Evelyn Kao)
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