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NSB advises calling off celebrations

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NSB advises calling off celebrations

A senior official from the National Security Bureau (國安局) confirmed yesterday that the NSB already advised Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) - acting convener of the preparatory committee of the National Day celebration - to suspend this year's celebration in front of the Presidential Office due to security concerns.
The NSB Director General Hsueh Shih-min met Wang early yesterday to pass on the advice, NSB Deputy Director-General Yang Kuo-chiang (楊國強) said as he took lawmakers' questions in the Legislative Yuan.
The bureau recommended the president not attend the outdoor celebration Tuesday morning should the preparatory committee decide to host the ceremony as it has in previous years, Yang told opposition Kuomintang Legislator Hsu Shao-ping (徐少?), who raised the question of safety due to teh possibility the celebration may be interrupted by a large-scale protest calling for President Chen's step down for alleged corruptions.
Hsu expressed doubt over the NSB's caution. She said she had observed that two previous demonstrations held by the same group of protesters - led by ex-Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Shih Ming-teh (施明德) and some pan-blue lawmakers - ended peacefully.
Yang countered that the NSB's consideration of safety at the National Day celebration, however, would be much more complicated than evaluating the impact protests that took place on ordinary days, because "we are talking about the safety of foreign guests invited to the national ceremony."
Yang revealed that the NSB did not only take Shih's protest into account before advising Wang to call off the outdoor ceremony. The NSB's consideration "did not only focus on protesting the president, but also concerns of an insufficient number of police as well as the nation's image and dignity," Yang contended.
Still, Wang declared that the celebration would take place as scheduled after a meeting with Hsueh yesterday morning. The leading organizer of the ceremony claimed that he reached a consensus with Hsueh that the preparatory committee would meet anytime to review the situation should security concerns over the upcoming event escalate or should any uncertain factors arise that could impair the celebration surfaces.
Wang continued that, before then, the committee would hold the annual celebration as scheduled because, at this stage in the game, "the impact of having the celebration will be less than the impact of suspending it."


Updated : 2021-04-17 17:29 GMT+08:00