Commission advises withdrawal of honor guard at CKS Memorial Hall

A member of the Taiwanese honor guard takes part in a change of duty ceremony at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, Taiwan, Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

TAIPEI (CNA) – The Transitional Justice Commission suggested Monday that the military honor guard at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei be discontinued as the complex is a symbol of the authoritarian period of Taiwan’s history.

Yang Tsui (楊翠), acting chairperson of the commission, said in a progress report that such a move would help promote “social communication” and show that “Taiwan attaches importance to human rights and democratic values.” The removal of the honor guard should be part of a wider revision of the regulations pertaining to the management of the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall complex, she told reporters.

The complex, a popular tourist attraction and recreational area, should host permanent exhibitions of human rights and democracy, Yang said.

The commission has proposed five guidelines for the transformation of CKS memorial hall, which is regarded by pro-independence activists as a symbol of the period of authoritarian rule under the Chiang-led Kuomintang (KMT) government.

The guidelines include removing the authoritarian figures in the complex, keeping the historical evidence of authoritarian rule and the people’s opposition to such rule, and undertaking research and education related to human rights, democracy and rule of the law.

The commission also suggested establishing organizations that will implement those principles and formulating transitional measures before justice is served.

On the question of whether the commission supports a redesign of the New Taiwan dollar, Yang said the commission will submit a formal request to the Central Bank to assess whether to redesign the banknote and coins that bear Chiang Kai-shek’s (蔣介石) image.

Currently, only the one-dollar and five-dollar coins, the old version of the 10 dollar coin, and the 200 dollar bill bear Chiang’s image, she noted.

Under the Act on Promoting Transitional Justice, the commission was established on May 31 to rectify injustices committed by the KMT government under Chiang’s authoritarian rule.

By Yu Kai-hsiang and Elizabeth Hsu