Taipei, Feb. 28 (CNA) Former President Ma Ying-jeou (???) said Wednesday that the government and public should continue to look into the 228 Incident in a bid to discover the full truth behind the tragic event.
However, Ma who is a member of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT), which is widely blamed for the event, said the incident should not be used as a weapon in partisan politics.
Ma made the comments when he met with family members of some of the victims of the incident at 228 Peace Memorial Park in downtown Taipei Wednesday, on a national holiday to mark its 71st anniversary.
The 228 Incident refers to the brutal crackdown by the KMT government headed by Chiang Kai-shek (???) after an anti-government uprising in 1947. The crackdown, which continued into May that year, left an estimated 18,000 to 28,000 people dead, according to government figures.
The period immediately following the 228 Incident is known as the "White Terror" era during which political dissidents were suppressed, imprisoned and murdered. The White Terror era lasted until the lifting of martial law in Taiwan in 1987.
Although Chiang is widely thought to have been behind the violent suppression of dissent, Ma said he was aware of no evidence to support that belief and urged further research to determine the full truth.
On the same day, Chiang's tomb at Cihu Mausoleum in Taoyuan was vandalized. The perpetrators, who have not been identified and arrested splashed red paint on the sarcophagus, which they said in a Facebook post symbolized the blood of all those who died at his hand.
Ma said the 228 Incident has had an indelible and irreversible impact on society, causing pain to many.
The government has made many efforts to compensate victims and their families in a bid to help heal the wounds caused by the tragedy, Ma said, including compensation payments of about NT$7.2 billion (US$246 million).
In addition, the government also paid NT$19.8 billion in compensation for injustices committed during the White Terror era, Ma added.
Ma said, the government and the private sector should work together to find out the truth of the incident to show Taiwan has the courage needed to face the unvarnished truth.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel