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Lin Fei-fan: Occupation of Legislative Yuan to continue
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-03-31 04:42 PM
Lin Fei-fan, one of the key leaders in the student protest movement, said in a press conference Monday that the movement’s work is far from over. Lin noted that many of his friends are asking what the students’ next goal will be. He said some feel that managing to get as many as 500,000 people into the streets to show their dissatisfaction with the Ma administration’s disposition of CSSTA might be considered the climax of the movement’s history and the campaign can be throttled down. But Lin insists that the campaign has only started and vows that the students will continue their fight from within and will not abandon their cause.

Lin reminded President Ma Ying-jeou of the four demands laid out by the students last week and noted that the students speak on behalf of the people of Taiwan. He cautioned Ma that the people need specific commitments and not just high-toned rhetoric from the government on the four demands, which included returning the CSSTA to committee in the Legislative Yuan, the implementation of oversight regulations to monitor future negotiations on cross-strait agreements, the convening of a national constitutional meeting to discuss related political issues, and signed agreements by both ruling and opposition legislators that they will honor the demands of the protesters.

Lin stressed that students will remain inside the Assembly Hall of the Legislative Yuan and will not leave any time soon. He said that during the next few days the students will continue to voice their appeal to President Ma and look for specific formal commitments before making any kind of decision about withdrawing from the Assembly Hall.

He appealed to everyone in the movement to hold to the spirit of solidarity and continue putting pressure on the government. He noted that the students have very few bargaining chips other than their nearly two week old occupation of the Legislative Yuan, so they will not yield lightly to calls to withdraw.

Lin explained that the students feel the best way for the Ma administration to show its goodwill in handling the occupation is to dial back its pressure on party members, in particular on KMT legislators. He said the students have demanded that both the ruling and opposition parties sign an agreement that will include setting up oversight regulations to govern how trade agreements are handled in the future. They said that privately some KMT members have said they are willing to support the students’ demands but are reluctant to take a public position because they are wary of discipline by the party. The best way to get around this, said Lin, is for Ma to agree to a relaxation in party pressure and discipline imposed to keep KMT legislators in line with party policy.

Lin said KMT party members must face the reality of a president whose popularity ratings are in the single digits as well as the fact that an estimated 60% of the people are dissatisfied with CSSTA and how the whole issue has been handled. Ma is running out of options, said Lin, but KMT legislators are afraid to stand with the people because of the threat of party discipline.

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