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Tainan mayor urges citizens to remain calm over statue dispute

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德), a member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), yesterday urged people to remain calm over a recent incident in which members of the Alliance of Referendum for Taiwan toppled a statue of the Republic of China's founding father Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙) in Tainan (台南).

The statue, previously located in Thng Tek-chiong Memorial Park in Tainan City, was pulled down on Saturday. Following the incident the city government cordoned off the park with police tape.

Kuomintang (KMT) city councilors and supporters gathered at the park yesterday to demand that the city repair the statue and urged Lai to apologize for the incident. However, they were stopped by police from entering the park, and physical altercations occurred between KMT supporters and police officers.

KMT City Councilor Hsieh Lung-chieh (謝龍介) and Tainan City Police Department Second Precinct Chief Lee Cheng-hsiao (李政曉) were seen scuffling, with Hsieh yelling “the police hit me.” Lee suffered several abrasions on his arms, according to the Central News Agency.

Hsieh later told local press that members of the pro-independence group had violently damaged a Tainan City public asset, and not only did police fail to protect it, but they also let the violators leave the scene without questioning them.

Hsieh stressed, however, that the police treated rational Tainan citizens like it was still the martial law period, stating that he would undergo a medical examination and then press charges against Lee.

Lee noted that after the statue was damaged, the Tainan City Public Works Bureau forbade people from entering the park temporarily, stressing that police officers were just cooperating with city policy and acted in accordance with laws.

KMT City Councilor Lu Kun-fu (盧崑福) said a democratic society has zero tolerance for violence, noting that people should respect “multiple cultures,” and even if the pro-independence groups oppose the founding father's statue, they should respect other people's opinions about it.

In August 2013, Tainan City proposed moving the statue from the park to a different location, which caused controversy. At that time, Hsieh organized an event to protect the statue by asking supporters to camp in the park.

Lai said whether people support or are against moving the statue, they are approaching the issue with different “political ideologies.” He said he disagrees with the KMT's previous actions of “occupying the park” to protect the statue and also opposes people taking aggressive action to pull it down.

Lai urged people to remain calm and settle the issue in a rational manner, noting that polarization and disputes do not help the city's development.

February 24, 2014    kingsolomon@
This is just a forerunner of things to come once the DPP is returned to power. If the people of Taiwan want to have peace and progress, they should think twice before giving the DPP the job of running the government and return them to power. Common sense should prevail instead of listening to all the mudslinging and brainwashing being put out by the media. The people should use their eyes and see if what the ears are hearing are true or not. One’s eyes can not be deceived, whereas, ones ears can be bombarded with garbage and gets brainwashed.
February 24, 2014    curtisakbar@
Sun Yat Sen was a political activist and although I do agree with what he said about Chinese culture, he is no founding father. He was president for about 2 months before leaving office.
February 25, 2014    piawliangjohny@
DPP OR KMT or whatever... we should look forward and preserve those statue it's history if they are going to destroy it .. what will the next generation know about history of Taiwan.. Look what visitors, tourist doing here they visit those statues, house cars even the dress and they want to study the life of Sun Yat Sen so why destroy it? Preserve it for our next generation.... those politicians that want to pull down all those Sun Yat Sen or Chiang Ching Kuo Memories they just want to make a show.. they want only to be known to be patriotic blah blah blah... Wake up new generations... we should not be joining these stupid actions of destroying history .. but instead move forward to make Taiwan be recognized by the whole world...
February 25, 2014    supwrkinez@
These DPP supporters will be sorry when the PRC takes over and erect a statue of Mao on that park. They will regret it then.
February 26, 2014    carltanong@
COMMON SENSE
That great grand croc's TING KUI "The FAKE first chinese democracy," can't wait any longer and order secretly to all DPP and TSU croc's GOONS and THUGS to destroy Dr. Sun Yet Sen statue and make way to build his own statue and of course Yasukuni ShrineVIL with 1000 steps for those green croc's flapping up to his Wall of Evil.
February 27, 2014    Upwell@
It's not the first time nor will it be the last when people try to rewrite history. Like it or not this character in the form of Dr Sun remains part of your country's history. Just as much as we have members of our family who went before us and whom we think they ought to have done better as our fore fathers. To my mind these people trying to erase or change things of the past do them with a political agenda. They themselves will also become history when they die. Beware as those coming after them will equally condemn and seek to wipe them off the face of society. But sadly these small minded people as stirrers will never grow to have the same stature as the man they sought to defy. What goes around comes around. They should know better as history repeats itself.
March 1, 2014    piawliangjohny@
People of Taiwan especially the new generation.. do not be fooled by those politicians instead look forward for new invention, designs... Make Taiwan be well known.. do not join those paid activist to ruin Taiwan.. I don't care what party and who will win in the next election ... Let's join hand in hand to topple those fake politicians...
March 3, 2014    skylarjones@
One would think these people would be grateful to Dr Sun for freeing their ancestors from Manchu rule.
March 7, 2014    miller.henry641@
piawliangjohny@ wrote:
DPP OR KMT or whatever... we should look forward and preserve those statue it's history if they are going to destroy it .. what will the next generation know about history of Taiwan.. Look what visitors, tourist doing here they visit those statues, house cars even the dress and they want to study the life of Sun Yat Sen so why destroy it? Preserve it for our next generation.... those politicians that want to pull down all those Sun Yat Sen or Chiang Ching Kuo Memories they just want to make a show.. they want only to be known to be patriotic blah blah blah... Wake up new generations... we should not be joining these stupid actions of destroying history .. but instead move forward to make Taiwan be recognized by the whole world...
Bravo!
Well said....to make the future of Taiwan, the history must be understood and ALL of the truth must be known.
March 8, 2014    miller.henry641@
A good investigative reporter would research why the statue of Dr. Sun was on that particular location.

It is directly connected to the 228 murders.

There is a good story. Let's see that story.
March 18, 2014    sharedoe@
kingsolomon@ wrote:
This is just a forerunner of things to come once the DPP is returned to power. If the people of Taiwan want to have peace and progress, they should think twice before giving the DPP the job of running the government and return them to power. Common sense should prevail instead of listening to all the mudslinging and brainwashing being put out by the media. The people should use their eyes and see if what the ears are hearing are true or not. One’s eyes can not be deceived, whereas, ones ears can be bombarded with garbage and gets brainwashed.
KMT and any statues associated with KMT have no place in Taiwan. They should return to China, where the Communists are transformed to fascists, just like old-time KMT.
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