Ma to host military seminars in attempt to boost morale
CNATAIPEI -- President Ma Ying-jeou will host a series of seminars around Taiwan over the next week in an effort to boost morale in the armed forces and help smooth the process of implementing military reforms, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Monday.
August 27, 2013, 12:45 am TWN
Starting Tuesday, the president will visit bases throughout the country, meeting with senior military officers and discussing military reform issues, the ministry said.
During the seminars, Ma will talk about reform in areas such as human rights protection, administrative management, the right to complain about illegal and unfair treatment, and disciplinary confinement, the MND said.
The seminars will be completed by Sept. 3, Taiwan's annual Armed Forces Day, according to ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Luo Shou-he.
The president's initiative comes amid public outrage over the death of Army Corporal Hung Chung-chiu, who collapsed and died on July 4 after he was thrown into a brig and subjected to strenuous exercises in extreme heat for days.
The incident sparked massive public protests, brought down the minister of defense, forced the government to turn over the trial of military personnel to civilian courts during peacetime, and inflicted untold damage on the military's image and morale at a time when it was being converted into an all volunteer force.
On Aug. 23, Ma visited the offshore county of Kinmen, where he attended activities to mark the 55th anniversary of an artillery battle between Taiwan and China, and mingled with troops stationed there in an attempt to boost their morale.