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Lin Yi-hsiung ends hunger strike
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-04-30 03:44 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Lin Yi-hsiung on Wednesday announced the end of the hunger strike he began on April 22 against the fourth nuclear plant.

“In order to respond to the love and concern of the Taiwanese people, Yi-hsiung has decided to stop his fast,” a statement from the long-term anti-nuclear activist read.

Wednesday was the ninth day of his fast, which he had started at his former home, now the Gikong Presbyterian Church, Tuesday last week. On Monday, he was transferred to National Taiwan University Hospital for closer observation.

The decision had been made to stop work on the nuclear plant, so as long as work did not resume, halting the fourth nuclear power plant was not an issue, his statement said.

Lin praised the numerous people who had responded to his April 15 call to action and who had shown concern for his health. A new generation of citizens had stood up to participate in actions by anti-nuclear and social movements, braving brutal treatment by state violence, he said.

Lin also had words of praise for DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang, who “hurried around everywhere to seek a consensus on stopping the fourth nuclear project.” During his fast, massive protests took hold in Taipei and other cities, while President Ma Ying-jeou held an unprecedented meeting with Su and the government changed course on some points.

Lin added that even members of the ruling Kuomintang had made statements or performed actions which corresponded to the call to stop the nuclear plant.

“Facing such a large, unprecedented call to halt work on the fourth nuclear plant, those in power announced for the first time that there would be a complete stop of work on the project under the pressure of public opinion,” Lin said. “You could say (this decision) is the temporary achievement of the anti-nuclear movement.”

He warned however that the government was still playing word games with the difference between “stopping work” and “stopping construction” on the plant, now nearing completion in Gongliao, New Taipei City. In the future, further protests might also be needed against the government’s refusal to lower the high threshold for the organization of a referendum about the plant, Lin warned.

In his statement, the activist called for protests against other issues, including the Referendum Act and the approval of special economic areas, or in favor of constitutional reform and promises by election candidates to turn Taiwan into a nuclear-free country.

The Taiwanese people had woken up, but their awakening had to be organized and trained to sharpen the awareness that Taiwanese citizens were in charge in their own country, Lin said.

As a result of his announcement, anti-nuclear campaigners reportedly prepared a final mass rally in front of the Presidential Office Building Wednesday evening.

Su said that Lin’s wife, Fang Su-min, had told him she was glad the fast was over. The DPP leader said he had asked her to tell Lin he should take good care of himself.

The DPP had been planning to issue a statement Wednesday expressing the hope that Lin could end his hunger strike, Su said. The opposition leader said the party would follow the advice from Lin’s statement and insist on putting Taiwan’s sovereignty and the interests of its people first.

Lin Fei-fan and Chen Wei-ting, the most prominent leaders of the student occupation of the Legislative Yuan, expressed their gratitude for Lin’s spirit of sacrifice.

The DPP legislative caucus called for an end to confrontation and for a new mood of reconciliation at the Legislative Yuan.

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