Thursday, March 4, 2010

Commemorating 228

I just noticed my post from last year, and thought I'd update with some news from this year. I'd first like to start off with:

1. this article from a Chinese civil rights activist - relates what happened in TW with current issues in China. Here's a quote:
Commenting on Taiwan, Wang Dan, a leader of the Chinese democracy movement and a prominent figure during the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, said that freedom is never won easily, but always lost unknowingly.

2. Another article from the same source - discusses evolution of the subject of 228 (it was taboo for 48 years: 1947-1995).

3. UW event - ties in the US role in the event. Most notably, these quotes:
The US Consulate in Taipei reported back about these events, but was told by Washington to do nothing.

To imagine for Americans what the “228 Massacre” meant for Taiwanese, picture the British, after the Boston Tea Party, then rounding up all of whom we now view as the founding fathers and summarily executing them. The ramifications of this on democracy and human rights in America would have been profound, perhaps to the point of America still being under British rule.

4. search for hidden files - article detailing attempts to uncover truth about the incident

5. Liberty Times article - more about the missing files

6. China Times - President Ma's speeches at Tainan and Taipei

7. Lin Family murder - mother and daughter killed on 2/28/1980 believed to be acting for KMT. There's an unfortunate ambiguous translation - "common" should be replaced with "shared" in the article.

8. editorial on apologies - well reasoned article pointing out that Ma did not directly apologize for the events of 228, among other points.


#2: The timeline is eye-opening for me, because I didn't realize this subject was considered taboo until 1995. Now I understand why so many of my peers (myself included) didn't know about it until they went to college. It also makes me appreciate how emotional the older generation gets when the subject comes up.. I would be too if I wasn't allowed to speak of a terrible tragedy for 48 years, and my children were completely ignorant and uninterested because of it.

#8 is a surprisingly balanced editorial - this guy knows his stuff. If I had to pick a subset of articles from this list, I'd take the first 3 plus this one.