Endgame still unclear for LY occupation movement
The China post news staff
March 29, 2014, 12:09 am TWN
After the storming of the Executive Yuan by protesters on late Sunday and their subsequent eviction by police, the Sunflower Movement (also known as the Occupy Legislative Yuan Movement) seemed for a time to be moving toward de-escalation.
While characterizing the storming of the Cabinet building as a premeditated act on Monday, Premier Jiang Yi-huah also highlighted the peaceful nature of the protesters at the Legislative Yuan. In the same day, representatives of the Sunflower Movement acknowledged the efforts of the legislators for holding an inter-party negotiation meeting even though the lawmakers failed to agree on a solution to the occupation, triggered by what the protesters see as the ruling Kuomintang's (KMT) sneaky passage of the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement at a Legislature committee.
On Tuesday, President Ma Ying-jeou offered to meet a Sunflower Movement representative for a conversation without preconditions. The protesters accepted Ma's invitation in a telephone conversation with Presidential Office spokeswoman Garfie Li, the first time the protesters communicated directly with the president's staff.
Even though the protesters later changed their position and rejected Ma's offer, citing the KMT lawmakers' refusal to give in during the second inter-party negotiation (a follow-up of the Monday's meeting), there is a palpable collective sense of relief that the protest was perhaps coming to a peaceful end soon.
There were open talks of “exit strategies” for the Legislature-occupying protesters on Wednesday and yesterday. The protesters themselves contributed to the topic, suggesting yesterday morning that they would be “buying their ticket home” once every single incumbent lawmaker signs a protester-drafted pledge to ensure an early passage of a law aimed at institutionalizing a close scrutiny of all agreements with Beijing.