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Hau warns against activists' plan to disrupt MRT

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday warned a group of protesters not to occupy and paralyze the Taipei MRT or they will face legal consequences.

Nearly 100 people yesterday launched a protest in front of Taipei City Hall against its plan to relocate residents of the Losheng Sanatorium (樂生療養院) because of an MRT construction project.

Protesters called on the city government to stop the ongoing construction of an MRT depot at the site of the sanatorium located in New Taipei's Xinzhuang District (新莊).

Citing examples of recent landslides at the sanatorium, they argued that the landslides were caused by the MRT construction and urged the city government to halt the project and not to evict the remaining residents of the sanatorium.

The protestors had several clashed with police in front of the city government yesterday, eight of them were subsequently arrested during the protest.

A member of the protestors, Lin Hsiu-tung (林秀芃), yesterday urged Taipei citizens to join hands to occupy and paralyze the Taipei MRT as a form of protest.

Asked to comment, Mayor Hau yesterday advised against the proposal on disrupting the Taipei metro system.

“The MRT is the main transportation for Taipei citizens and we won't allow any group of individuals to affect the rights of citizens with such illicit acts,” Hau said.

The city government will do everything in its power to ensure the safety and travel rights of all MRT passengers, he added.

Taipei City has already made preparations to take necessary measures when someone is indeed attempting to occupy and paralyze the MRT system, he said, without elaborating further.

Meanwhile, Taipei City's Department of Rapid Transit Systems Commissioner Tsai Hui-sheng (蔡輝昇) said the accusation raised by protesters over the safety of the MRT construction project is unfounded.

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An activist is escorted out of Taipei City Hall by police, yesterday. Activists opposing the relocation of Losheng Sanatorium (樂生療養院) gathered in front of Taipei City Hall on Thursday, demanding a response from the Taipei City Government. Yesterday, they attempted to break into the government building and eight were subsequently detained by police for questioning.

(CNA)

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