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College presidents hope for peaceful end to 'Sunflower Movement'

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A press release was issued yesterday by six presidents of national universities stating that a communication platform must be established between the students and the government in order to end the student-led protest movement peacefully.

The statement was released by National Taiwan University President Yang Pan-chyr (楊泮池), National Sun Yat-sen University Principal Yang Hung-Duen (楊弘敦), National Yang-Ming University President Liang Kung-yee (梁賡義), National Chung Hsing University President Der-tsai Lee (李德財), National Chiao Tung University Principle Wu Yen-hua(吳妍華) and National Dong Hwa University President Wu Mao-kun (吳茂昆).

According to the press release, they are all disconcerted about the current social situation, including the unrest on campuses and potential threats that could endanger the peaceful development of society.

The press release also said that they do not want to see students' education being affected or even disrupted. Therefore, the six principles said that they hope a communication platform could be built as soon as possible in order to dismiss the misunderstandings between the government and the students.

The principles said that they compliment students' efforts on trying to make the society and the country better developed, and they also support the students' ideas on pursuing democratic ideals.

According to the press release, the principles firmly insist on the independence of universities and they oppose the public's interference in the operation of the schools.

However, the principles said, students should not violate the law or create unnecessary conflicts.

The statements said that they do not want to see the bloody conflict that took place when the police evicted students from the Executive Yuan reoccur, and at the same time, the government should handle all the disputes with non-violent measures.

The principles said that the government should enforce the communication path in order to better respond to the public and the students' demands so that eventually an agreement can be reached.

Meanwhile, the principles said that some objective civil organizations can establish a communication platform so the students and the government can carry out more effective conversations regarding this issue.

The principles said that they truly hope the current disputes can end peacefully so students can return to school as soon as possible.

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