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No double standards for students: justice minister

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Justice Minister Luo Ying-shay (羅瑩雪) said yesterday during a visit to the New Taipei District Prosecutors Office that a rioter is not defined by his or her identity but by what he or she has done, noting that the law will not differentiate between students and the rest of the populace.

Luo visited the prosecutor's office yesterday morning and gave an address. She first defended the nation's judiciary system by saying that the public magnifies the system's minor flaws yet reluctantly gives praise when the judiciary system justly deals with major crimes.

Luo went on to comment on the incident of March 23 at the Executive Yuan, saying that those students had no idea what they were doing. She said that the students think they have “great power” in their hands, and that kind of idea is very dangerous.

Noting that the Prosecutors Association on April 2 expressed its position very clearly, Luo said the prosecutors will not close their eyes to the students' illegal behavior.

There are no double standards for students in terms of breaking the law, the minister said, noting that whether students or gangsters, the nation will levy punishments on all those who violate the law.

The minister went on to say that she thinks the public does not really understand the essence of law and order, noting that as the minister of justice, she is obliged to “teach” and explain the relevant legal consequences to the public.

Luo further noted that as far as she knows, the Taipei prosecutors have been investigating the student movement since it began.

At the moment prosecutors appear to be focusing their investigation on the students of the March 23 Executive Yuan incident rather than the students occupying the Legislative Yuan. Luo said she did not ask for too many details regarding the investigation.

When asked if prosecutors will investigate the students occupying the Legislative Yuan once the Assembly Hall is cleared, Luo said “I don't think it (investigation) needs to wait until the movement is over, because prosecutors are already on the case.”

The Association of National Universities of Taiwan yesterday released a press statement, saying that the association hopes the executive branch can adopt a more tolerant attitude toward the students.

The press statement was endorsed by the presidents of five national universities, namely National Sun Yat-sen University, National Taiwan University, National Chiao Tung University, National Chung Hsing University and National Cheng Kung University.

April 8, 2014    kingsolomon@
Everyone would be encouraged to break the law if there are no convictions and the courts' decisions would set precedents in future rulings. Anarchy would be the order of the day if the courts looks the other way just because these are "students". The whole world witnessed what these "students" were doing, which is illegal in the eyes of the law. These "students" knew what they were doing because they are literate and can read and understand the laws of the land, (ignorance of the law excuses no one).
April 8, 2014    nuttyazn@
What about White Wolf's really slow without a permit-4 hrs-Passing by???
April 8, 2014    yanloiwong@
kingsolomon@ wrote:
Everyone would be encouraged to break the law if there are no convictions and the courts' decisions would set precedents in future rulings. Anarchy would be the order of the day if the courts looks the other way just because these are "students". The whole world witnessed what these "students" were doing, which is illegal in the eyes of the law. These "students" knew what they were doing because they are literate and can read and understand the laws of the land, (ignorance of the law excuses no one).
I absolutely agreed with your views.
April 9, 2014    nuttyazn?@
When breaking laws and forcing personal thinking on another person, they attract similar people who break laws and like to force themselves on them. "Opposites" attraction is a myth, it is "similarities" that bring together.
April 9, 2014    rogechien@
Good! She is the best government minister ever and I hope she becomes the first lady president of the R.O.C! NO ONE has a right to destroy government property and interfere with the legislature. I also support Mr. White Wolf, he was simply asking the police to do their duty, and not bow to political pressure. He is also my hero, I would like to join his group in defending democracy. If someone from his group is reading this, please recruit me.
April 9, 2014    1fatherof2@
Of course Taipei can respond with the law and put the leadership behind bars for years, with strong support from a number of people in Taiwan and abroad. After all, they did break the law, as have several other dissidents worldwide, people including Liu Xiaobo.

But the government has broken its contract with society, and consequently the law has become an instrument of repression. As such, if Chen, Lin and others end up in jail, they will not be ordinary criminals. They will be prisoners of conscience.

Taiwan’s democracy has become an empty frame, an illusion used and abused by both the powers that be and those who have no compunction in seeing the democratic miracle slowly descend into soft authoritarianism.
April 9, 2014    kingarthur@
The student leaders are extremely popular among high school and university students all across Taiwan. Given the likelihood that harsh sentences would exacerbate social pressures and unleash another round of activism, I think that the courts will issue suspended sentences or commute those to a fine. Another option would be for Ma, who severely needs to revamp his shattered image after all this, to grant them a pardon in extremis.
April 10, 2014    anotherdog58@
A justice minister who thinks that the public does not really understand the essence of law and order should be removed from her position.
April 10, 2014    daniel5^@
I agree with kingarthur. A decision to slap harsh sentences on the student leaders would almost certainly spark a new social unrest. But will a government known for its vindictiveness and overreliance on the courts to block out opposition resist the temptation?
April 10, 2014    curtisakbar@
No pardon, but due to emotional politics and over-hyped media in Taiwan, if the punishments dealt followed the law, there would be even more protests. The best option is to give all protesters community service. How can they protest making the country better by performing civic duties?
April 10, 2014    vickylove@
Ma's viciousness is extended to the simple matter of paying for the alleged damage to the LY. The government is trying to restrict who can pay, although many people have offered to pay on the students' behalf. Ma is trying to make such donations illegal. Nothing happened to the Red Shirts for collecting donations. Instead of trying to look more statesmanlike than his KMT-foe, Wang, the President is showing just what a sore loser he really is.
April 10, 2014    carltabunong@
yanloiwong@

I agree you should agree with yourself :)
April 11, 2014    americanadvice@
Too much attention is being focused on the stupid students. Watching repetitive stupid things on TV will cause brain damage.
April 11, 2014    getinformed@
"Watching repetitive stupid things on TV will cause brain damage.."

… which you are obviously already suffering from.
April 13, 2014    bluebananas@
The KMT has to face whether to sue the student leaders or not, and, if they are convicted, to have them imprisoned.

The government already declared it wanted to imprison some students “for many years.” But shouldn’t it be left to judges to decide whether they broke the law, and if they did, what penalty should be applied?

Mr. Ma’s KMT may be dreaming of doing to the students what it did to former president Chen Shui-bian, putting him in prison and darkening his image in a relentless effort to kill the Taiwan Independence movement.

What the KMT does no seem to understand is that doing so will only fuel resentment. It is likely that the KMT and its chairman will plant the seeds of many future movements. And some of those could be more radical.
April 14, 2014    a5775rt@
rogechien@

So the enemy of your enemy is your friend. Cheap.
April 15, 2014    rogechien@
a5775rt@ wrote:
rogechien@

So the enemy of your enemy is your friend. Cheap.
Please clarify, who are my enemies? I think your statement broke the logic chain. Cheap, you must be referring to those that support independence and refuse to honor their ancestors from Fujian.
April 17, 2014    a5775rt@
rogechien@

Cheap as well as mentally challenged now, are we? I'll go slowly on you here:
your enemy = S-T-U-D-E-N-T P-R-O-T-E-S-T-E-R-S
their enemy = W-H-I-T-E W-O-L-F
your friend = W-H-I-T-E W-O-L-F
cheap = "cheap talker", that's a M-E-T-A-P-H-O-R

April 18, 2014    rogechien@
a5775rt@ wrote:
rogechien@

Cheap as well as mentally challenged now, are we? I'll go slowly on you here:
your enemy = S-T-U-D-E-N-T P-R-O-T-E-S-T-E-R-S
their enemy = W-H-I-T-E W-O-L-F
your friend = W-H-I-T-E W-O-L-F
cheap = "cheap talker", that's a M-E-T-A-P-H-O-R

Again, cheap is the man who spells out everything in capital letters. Give me your number and I will meet you somewhere. Let's see who is cheap talk.
April 18, 2014    skyesoren@
1fatherof2@ wrote:
Of course Taipei can respond with the law and put the leadership behind bars for years, with strong support from a number of people in Taiwan and abroad. After all, they did break the law, as have several other dissidents worldwide, people including Liu Xiaobo.

But the government has broken its contract with society, and consequently the law has become an instrument of repression. As such, if Chen, Lin and others end up in jail, they will not be ordinary criminals. They will be prisoners of conscience.

Taiwan’s democracy has become an empty frame, an illusion used and abused by both the powers that be and those who have no compunction in seeing the democratic miracle slowly descend into soft authoritarianism.
I very much agree with your view. You should write an expanded commentary article to the newspaper.
April 19, 2014    rogechien@
a5775rt@ wrote:
rogechien@

Cheap as well as mentally challenged now, are we? I'll go slowly on you here:
your enemy = S-T-U-D-E-N-T P-R-O-T-E-S-T-E-R-S
their enemy = W-H-I-T-E W-O-L-F
your friend = W-H-I-T-E W-O-L-F
cheap = "cheap talker", that's a M-E-T-A-P-H-O-R

I am still waiting for your number, I want to meet you somewhere. Let me know when you want to go.
April 22, 2014    local@
As for Rogechien's "refuse to honor their ancestors from Fujian"

I'm from Colmar, France (living in Taiwan), my ancesters from Germany, my wife's ancestors are Bunun. Why does she have to honor your ancestors from Fujian? As for me, I do honor my ancestors from Germany, as my Alsace region used to be part of it.
But unlike my grandparents where were born German, history made that I am French now - and so says my passport. My wife (and kid) are Taiwanese (ROC), so says their passport. Ethnic belonging and politics are not necessarily one and the same. Maybe difficult to understand when you're from the other side of the Strait.
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