Group calls for ‘concrete truth’ on incident

The China Post news staff

A group representing relatives of victims of the 228 Incident have called on the government to unveil “concrete truths” about the 1947 massacre of anti-government protesters. Chang Chiu-wu, secretary general of the 228 Peace Promotion Association, told the press Monday that the ruling Democratic Progressive Party had d one a “good job” in “neutralizing” Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall to promote transitional justice, but that this was “not enough.” The group’s demand for a more comprehensive investigation comes despite the Tsai government announcing on Sunday it would release the final tranche of 4,617 classified documents on the incident. ‘Priority to reveal the truth’ “In pursuing transitional justice, the government should make it a priority to reveal the truth about the 228 Incident. And we hope to see concrete results in this regard this year,” Chang told reporters.

She said that President Tsai Ing-wen had pledged in her inauguration speech last May to set up a “Truth and Reconciliation Committee” and complete an investigative report into transitional justice in Taiwan within three years.

But over the past nine months, she said, the Tsai administration had “failed to mention the 228 Incident.”

Chang said the 228 Peace Promotion Association had sent documents to the Presidential Office, the Ministry of the Interior, and the Ministry of Education on Feb. 15 requesting President Tsai and ministry officials consider the information and proposals raised by the group, but that so far they hadn’t received a response. ‘Transitional justice requires more than platitudes’ She also criticized the government for “performing” for the incident’s commemoration without making any real efforts to bring about true justice. “Seventy years have passed, but the real truth remains unclear.” Chang said that in seeking transitional justice the government should first determine who was “truly responsible” for the incident, as well as enact judicial reforms before attempting to seize assets belonging to the Kuomintang (KMT) deemed to be “ill gotten.” “Otherwise, the assets retrieved cannot be managed by the government if the judicial system rules against it.” The 228 Incident was triggered by a clash between government officials and an illegal cigarette vendor in Taipei on Feb. 27, 1947. The event quickly turned into an anti-government uprising that was brutally suppressed by the then-Nanjing-based KMT government. An estimated 18,000 to 28,000 people were killed during the crackdown which started Feb. 28, 1947 and lasted into early May, according to an investigation commissioned by the Cabinet in 1992. ‘Chiang should be held responsible’: Ma In related news, former President Ma Ying-jeou said that Chiang Kai-shek should be held responsible for the 228 Incident. Ma made the remark in response to questions from the press when paying a visit to the National 228 Memorial Museum in Taipei on Monday morning.

But Ma was also keen to stress that Chiang was a “historic figure,” and therefore both his contributions and misdeeds as a national leader during his tenure should be examined in an “objective way.”

The former president said that any hasty indictment of Chiang’s legacy would incite “unnecessary conflicts.”