Taiwan president vows justice for victims of 1947 massacre

Taiwan president vows justice for victims of 1947 massacre
United Bank for Africa

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday vowed to ensure truth and justice for the victims of a massacre carried out seven decades ago by troops of the Chinese Nationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek.

The president made this known during an official ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the incident held in Taipei’s Feb. 28 Peace Park.

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“We will use the most rigorous attitude to resolve the question of responsibility for the Feb.  28 Incident,” she said.

Seventy years ago, the Nationalist government troops killed over 10,000 Taiwanese while suppressing a spontaneous rebellion against the corrupt administration of Chiang’s handpicked governor, Gen. Chen Yi.

The suppression was followed by four decades of authoritarian rule during which thousands more were executed or imprisoned.

Three decades after the lifting of martial law, Feb. 28 Incident Memorial Foundation Chairman Hsueh Hua-yuan said “there are still only victims but no perpetrators.”

“Many surviving relatives still do not know how, when or why their loved ones died.”

Tsai said her Democratic Progressive Party government would respond to the “deepest desire of victims and their survivors” by passing an act during the current session of national legislature.

She said the act will set up an independent agency to oversee the task of ultimately finding justice, including the completion of an investigative truth report to clarify responsibility.

“I hope that one day perpetrators will be willing to apologise and the surviving relatives of victims will be willing to forgive,” Tsai said.