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Ma, protest leaders should quit while they are ahead

President Ma Ying-jeou looks like a pushover who is afraid of disciplining his little wayward and unruly brats.

Since protesters from the Sunflower student movement climbed the fence to sneak into the Assembly Hall of the Legislative Yuan and hijack the Legislature on March 18, Ma has made concession after unworthy concession to appease them — so much so that they have become increasingly grandiose, to the extent that they dared to launch a march of Blackshirts Sunday to expand their occupation to Ketagalan Avenue Boulevard, the Presidential Mansion and Chungshan South Road.

The only right thing President Ma did was to have the Black Island Nation Youth Front hijackers evicted from the Executive Yuan, and even that rightful eviction was widely criticized as one by violent force.

Carried away by the successful surprise attack on the government house, Sunflower leader Lin Fei-fan declared war again on the Ma government and vowed to fight it to the last until he wins.

He overplayed his hand. He had better learn that he must quit while he's ahead. The writing is on the wall for the Sunflower student activists.

Top business leaders are coming out in support of the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement the student activists demand the government scrap. Even the American Chamber of Commerce in Kaohsiung expressed support for the trade pact, while the Allied Association for Hsinchu Science Park Industries called on the students to end the occupation of the Legislative Yuan's Assembly Hall. On Saturday, one day before the march of Blackshirts, more than 10,000 people took to the streets in Taipei to urge the Sunflower student activists to go home.

Close to 7,000 took part in a “Carnation embraces Sunflower” demonstration at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, only 800 meters away from the Legislative Yuan.

Participants were family members of police officers and Taipeiites who do no like the activists breaking the law by occupying the Legislature. Another rally took place at Taipei station, where around 3,000 demonstrators gathered to demand that the Sunflower activists give the Legislature back to the people.

Each with a carnation in hand, they called on Sunflower student demonstrators to return home and expressed their appreciation of the police for keeping order around the nation's highest legislative organ.

The demonstrations were organized by the White Justice Social Union whose spokesman Eric Chou, an associate professor of economics from Tsing Hua University, said the activists do not speak for the people and the Legislative Yuan cannot remain paralyzed by their occupation.

Demonstrators were university students and working adults. The march of Blackshirts shouldn't have been launched.

President Ma agreed to comply with all the Sunflower demonstrators' demands except the retraction of the trade pact, which has been stalled in the Legislature for more than nine months since it was signed in Shanghai on June 21 last year thanks to the opposition of the Democratic Progressive Party. It's time to call it quits.

If Lin Fei-fan doesn't, he won't be able to keep what he has won.

After the demonstration of Blackshirts, public support for the Sunflower movement will taper off.

His war on the Ma government may be lost. He should remember a good old English adage: “Quit while you're ahead.”

April 2, 2014    aracelichan@
Why didn't the opposition members of the committee insist on an article by article review of the trade treaty while it was languishing in the legislature for nine months? Now they cry foul? Clearly this whole mess is developing into a political agenda of the opposition parties.

And what 'war' are the student activists talking about? If persisting until they 'win' means bringing down Ma's government over a controversial trade pact, it is tantamount to picking a fight with his supporters and those who elected him to office.

The protestors should bear in mind that no matter how noble their ideals and motives are, they cannot and do not have the right to hold the entire nation hostage by illegally occupying the legislative assembly hall. They do not represent the whole population.

They have made their point. Their voice has been heard, their demands have been met, and yet they are still playing hard to get. They should be judicious enough to know when to call it quits while they can do so gracefully, and end the protest on a high note.
April 2, 2014    anniew88@
"their demands have been met" — Are you sure you're up-to-date?
April 3, 2014    loverosamundkwan@
I think it's really about time for the government to take back the Legislature. Occupying the Legislature is just illegal and counter-productive. Also, it makes any grand causes unjustified.
April 3, 2014    jim@
Ma said he would resign if his popularity fell. It’s in single figures now. 9% or less. He should have resigned as President while he was still ahead.

Lame Duck Ma.
April 4, 2014    aracelichan@
anniew88@ wrote:
"their demands have been met" — Are you sure you're up-to-date?
The fundamental bone of contention that triggered this protest in the first place was the article-by article review of the trade treaty, among other things, demands that have been met. But no, give an inch and they want a foot. They have since added to their long list of insatiable demands. So basically, you're right: I'm not "up-to-date".
April 4, 2014    7-eleven@
If the DPP does gain the presidency in 2016, the PRC will be facing an interesting situation in which four of the Asian democracies—Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, and India—are committed to a policy of resisting the PRC’s eastward military and economic expansion and preferentially developing their own China-excluding economic and security order.
April 7, 2014    americanpride@
Stupid Taiwanese terrorists
April 8, 2014    joesun369@
I am so glad that most of the protesters are young college students. Taiwan finally has a ray of hope. Go students! Speak out and fight for your future. God bless Taiwan.
April 10, 2014    ricky@
@"american"

Chinese coward.
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