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Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Remembering two 228 Incidents

First, the one less talked about

On February 28, 1980, while Lin Yi-hsiung (林義雄) was in prison on charges stemming from the Kaohsiung Incident, his seven-year old twin daughters and his mother were brutally murdered while their home was under 24-hour surveillance by secret police under the rule of Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國). Another daughter survived that incident despite being stabbed several times, but grew up without her grandmother or her two sisters. This horrific act took place 33 years after another incident which led to the deaths (including executions on the street), political imprisonment, and disappearance of tens of thousands of people in Taiwan at the hands of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) under the lead of the aforementioned Chiang's father, Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石).

The "228 Incident" of 1947
On February 27, 1947, a woman named Lin Chiang-mai (林江邁) was selling cigarettes illegally on a Taipei street when KMT officers attempted to confiscate her wares. In the struggle, the officer struck the woman in the head with his gun, and she later died. Witnesses to the event chased the officers away from the scene. They fled to a police station, and when citizens gathered there to ask for justice, the officer fled out a back door.

The next day, February 28, a larger crowd gathered at the Governor-General's Office to protest, but were met with machine gun fire. This doesn't sound like the "uprising" the China Post and the BBC's Caroline Gluck would like you to believe it was.

In the subsequent months and years, Taiwan's intellectuals were methodically killed off, jailed under false pretenses, and terrorized by authorities in the period of Taiwan's history that is known as "White Terror."

Sixty years after the 228 Incident of 1947, the embattled presidential wannabe and disgraced former KMT chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬應九) and his minions are still obfuscating history with their whines of "Stop bringin' up old stuff" and "Japan did it." Yet until this "transitional justice" is dealt with, this "old stuff" will continue to be raised against the party which perpetrated the crime.

More info
Articles from today's Taipei Times:
* Decades later, 228 still haunts Taiwan
* Hardline academics blame Japan for 228 Incident
* Amendment calling for 228 trial halted by pan-blue camp
* A series of 7 more articles: The 228 incident: Sixty years on
* An op-ed by Randall Schriver which states bluntly that "senior US officials are largely unaware and ignorant of what transpired in Taiwan after Feb. 27, 1947, including the White Terror era."
* Today's editorial: Historical record is key to justice

The March 1, 2007 edition of the Taipei Times continues the "228 Incident: Sixty years on" series with four more articles.
Other blogposts:
* Michael Turton on Taiwan's Own Holocaust Revisionists
* Wulingren wrote last Friday about a May 24, 1947 article in The Nation.
* Previous posts on INDIAC
* Previous posts on Taiwan Matters!
Videos (most in Taiwanese or Chinese with Hanzi subtitles):
* 台灣的歷史-戰後與二二八事件 [Taiwan History - Post-WW2 and the 228 Incident]
* A 2-part video from CassidyTW: 二二八60週年 - 紀念殞落的228菁英 [60th anniversary of the 228 Incident - In memory of the fallen elite of 228] (lots more links there)

UPDATE 2: Here's a 3-part video from SET that I uploaded to YouTube:
* Part 1/3 6'58"
* Part 2/3 8'01"
* Part 3/3 9'33"
* Here's another video to think about when the KMT pulls their "Stop bringing up old stuff" act and tries to sweep 228 back under the rug where it couldn't be talked about for so long. Via the Hanzi titles which accompany the images onscreen, it reminds viewers how France, Poland, and Germany haven't done so with the Holocaust, but have instead faced up to that dark part of history. In contrast, every city in Taiwan has downtown streets named after Chiang Kai-shek (中正路). That page also has links to WMV versions of the video. Check out the plethora of links listed at the end of the video as well.
* And here's a WMV video of a Taiwan "anthem" performed karaoke style (they sang right through the bridge) by the president, the V-P, and lots of DPP stalwarts.
More links:
* Wikipedia entry on the 228 Incident
* Wikipedia entry on George Kerr
* George Kerr's Formosa Betrayed [PDF, 1.1 MB]
* See chapter four of Jerome F. Keating's Island in the Stream (co-written with April C.J. Lin)

* Here's the page for the 228 Incident Memorial Foundation.
* Here's a poignant song sung in Taiwanese about the 228 Incident -- from the site that brought the "Surgical Blade Action" (手術刀). They've already gathered some 62,000 signatures, BTW.
Because of KMT control of the media and education system, many younger people in Taiwan don't know enough to even care about the 228 Incident. However, in order to secure their own future, it is something they must learn about.

Lest we forget: , , , , , , , ,

Cross-posted at It's Not Democracy, It's A Conspiracy!

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At 11:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great articles--enjoyed the anthem sung by DPP members! Very touching.

Thanks for all the updates, from a friend of Taiwan (former USAF staioned in Taipei)


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