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Interior Ministry to scrap holidays marking Chiang's birth and death

Interior Ministry to scrap holidays marking Chiang's birth and death

The Interior Ministry has announced its decision to scrap the birthday and anniversary of the death of the late President Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) as national days as part of its effort to promote transitional justice.
Interior Minister Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋) said yesterday the decision will take effect immediately, adding that the two occasions will no longer be remembered as national days as Taiwan is seeking transitional justice by removing the shadow of authoritarian rule under the late president Chiang, who was seen by many Taiwanese as a controversial leader.
The decision was made at the suggestion of participants in a meeting presided over by Vice Interior Minister Lin Mei-chu to review Taiwan's national days and holdings.
The late president's October 31 birthday and the April 15 anniversary of his death were designated national days by the ruling authorities, not by the people, while Taiwan was under the authoritarian rule of the former ruling Kuomintang, Lee said.
As Taiwan is a free and democratic society, more and more people have questioned the leadership of the late president and his role in Taiwan's democratization, especially after the KMT stepped down in 2000.
At the suggestion of families of victims of the 228 Incident in 1947, the Interior Ministry concluded that that the two national days should be removed to help enhance a social harmony that was spoiled by the KMT as the result of its authoritarian rule.