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Legislature respects civic group's wish to pay for damages
Central News Agency
2014-04-18 11:32 PM
Taipei, April 18 (CNA) If student protesters and civic groups are willing to pay for the damage caused during their 24-day occupation of the main legislative chamber, the Legislative Yuan will respect the decision, the body's secretary-general Lin Hsi-shan said Friday. Lin said that the Legislature respected the proposal but would not take the initiative to contact the students or civic groups and will "wait for them" to make the first move. Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng said earlier Friday that Rock Hsu, the chairman of the Taiwan-based Chinese National Federation of Indsutries, would pick up the NT$2.85 million (US$94,400) tab for the damage, but civic groups later rejected the idea.

Lai Chung-chiang, convener of the Democratic Front Against Cross-strait Trade in Services Agreement, said that by paying for the damage, Hsu would then have the right to seek compensation from the students, which he believed "would cause unnecessary disputes, not solve the problem and not live up to public expectations." Lai said the students and civic groups would pay for the damage instead.

Upon hearing Lai's rejection, Hsu said he "respected" the decision and had "no comment on who will pay, as long as the problem is solved." Lin said Hsu first broached the idea of paying for the damage when he contacted Wang at the end of March. Before Wang visited the students and promised to pass an oversight law on future cross-strait agreements, a key demand of the students, to end the occupation, Wang got back to Hsu, and Hsu again confirmed his willingness to foot the bill, Lin said. Hsu said he was initially worried that the student protests over a controversial trade-in-services agreement with China could get out of control and society would pay a bigger price.

So he called Wang and pledged to pick up the tab so that the student protesters would not have to face the question of compensation. (By Tseng Ying-yu, Lin Men-ju, Wen Kui-hsiang and Lilian Wu)

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