BACKPEDALING: The central bank’s claim that replacing currency would be costly is ‘ridiculous,’ especially as it is minting more coins for claw machines, a TSU official said
By Sean Lin / Staff reporter
The Taiwan Solidarity Union （TSU） and victims of the nation’s authoritarian era yesterday expressed solidarity with the Transitional Justice Commission as they accused the Democratic Progressive Party （DPP） administration of shying away from transitional justice.
The Legislative Yuan last year passed the Act on Promoting Transitional Justice （促進轉型正義條例）, which provided the legal basis on which the commission was founded and can exercise its authority, TSU administrative director Chou Ni-an （周倪安） told a news conference in Taipei.
However, the entire administration, from President Tsai Ing-wen （蔡英文）, the Ministry of National Defense and the Veterans Affairs Council to the central bank, has distanced itself from the commission’s legally mandated task of removing publicly displayed authoritarian symbols, she said, referring to a proposal by the commission to replace coins and banknotes that bear the portrait of Chiang Kai-shek （蔣介石）.
Executive Yuan members who have spoken out against the proposal should step down for opposing a law ratified by the president, she said.
The People First Party on Friday panned measures suggested by the commission as “discrediting the Chiangs” — referring to Chiang Kai-shek and his son former president Chiang Ching-kuo （蔣經國）.
“If the Chiangs should not be discredited, who should? [Former presidents] Lee [Teng-hui, 李登輝]? Chen [Shui-bian, 陳水扁]? Ma [Ying-jeou, 馬英九]?” she asked.
Lauding the performance of commission acting chairwoman Yang Tsui （楊翠）, Chou said that the TSU would fully support the commission.
Taiwan 228 Incident Care Association director-general Pan Hsin-hsing （潘信行） said it is “illogical” that the Chinese Nationalist Party （KMT）, which used to be a perpetrator of injustices, is pointing fingers at the government and calling it an “Eastern Depot,” referring to a Ming Dynasty secret police and spy agency.
This has caused the DPP to backpedal on its stance on transitional justice, Pan added.
The KMT had labeled the commission an Eastern Depot days before the term was mentioned by former commission deputy chairman Chang Tien-chin （張天欽） during a meeting, Formosan Political Prisoners Association honorary director-general Tsai Kuan-yu （蔡寬裕） said.
The accusation that Chang had compared the commission to the Eastern Depot is out of context and far-fetched, he added.
Tsai said that whether to form a policy to discredit Chiang Kai-shek was “not something she or the commission could decide,” 1950s White Terror Victims’ Association president Lan Yun-juo （藍芸若） said.
Tsai might be right in saying that it was not her decision, but was mistaken about the commission’s remit, which was authorized by a law she signed, Lan said.
Tsai’s words were no different from disavowing the commission, which would hurt Taiwan’s democracy in the eyes of foreign observers, she said.
TSU director of social activity Ouyang Jui-lien （歐陽瑞蓮） called the bank’s remark that updating the legal tender would put a heavy financial burden on the nation “ridiculous,” considering that it has allocated a budget to mint more NT$10 coins for use in claw machines.
Taiwan Solidarity Union administrative director Chou Ni-an, center, and political victims join hands at a news conference in Taipei yesterday to express their support for Transitional Justice Commission spokeswoman Yang Tsui and her efforts to promote transitional justice. Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times