Police defend decision to prohibit May 20 protest


TAIPEI–A police official yesterday defended a decision to reject an application to hold a protest parade near the Presidential Office on May 20 after the decision was condemned by the applicant as a resumption of martial law.

National Police Agency Deputy Director-General Lin Kuo-tung explained at a meeting held by the opposition Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) legislative caucus that the TSU’s proposed parade route overlapped with an area reserved for activities related to President Ma Ying-jeou’s inauguration for a second term in office.

Lin said that the committee organizing the inauguration celebration activities filed for use of the area prior to the TSU and therefore had the right to it.

Prior to Lin’s explanation, TSU Legislator Hsu Chung-hsin complained of the government’s rejection of the application.

Hsu contended that the president needed to hear the people’s voices on the day of his inauguration, especially on such issues as the administration’s decisions to allow imports of U.S. beef containing residues of leanness-enhancing drugs.