MOI refuses to amend law over Dapu demolition rage
By Lauly Li, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Interior Minister Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源) yesterday said that his ministry will neither amend nor abolish the Land Expropriation Act over the controversial demolition of four homes.
August 21, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
Activists from Sunday night through Monday occupied all entrances of the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) building in support of the owners of four razed households in Miaoli County's Dapu Village. They demanded to talk to Lee and urged the MOI to amend the Land Expropriation Act to better protect farmers' land rights. Some called for the MOI to go as far as abolishing the act.
Lee said the key issue regarding the Dapu incident is not the regulations of the Land Expropriation Act but how they are implemented.
Thomas Chan (詹順貴), an activist and lawyer, went to the Supreme Prosecutors Office on Monday and pressed charges against Miaoli Magistrate Liu Cheng-hung (劉政鴻) over the demolitions.
Chan alleged that there had been breaches of the Anti-Corruption Act as well as violations of property laws relating to the keeping of assets of unknown origin.
“It is not like we cannot discuss the flaws in a case. However, regarding the accusations of corruption involving the Dapu incident, we should leave such allegations to the inspectors to investigate,” Lee said, adding that neither he nor protesters have the final judgment over the truth of the accusations.
Lee said that he is not an unreasonable person and that — as long as all parties can remain calm and discuss the matter rationally — he can arrange forums for experts from various fields to discuss the details of the Land Expropriation Act.
Deputy Interior Minister Hsiao Chia-chi (蕭家淇), who was splashed with water by protesters on Monday, said yesterday that he “doesn't mind” the actions and will not press charges. Hsiao added, however, that he hopes activists can express their opposition in a milder and more rational manner in the future.
Cleaning Expenses May Be Paid by Taxpayers
Cleaning efforts were still under way yesterday to remove the paint, stickers and trash left by protesters on and around the MOI building.
Hsieh said that as far as he knows, the cleaning expenses will be covered by the MOI, which means by taxpayers' money. He noted that the ministry will discuss whether or not to request demonstration organizers to pay for the expenses.