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Wording on elder Ma's urn criticized

Wording on elder Ma's urn criticized

The wording on opposition Kuomintang presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou's father's cremation urn brought about an unexpected verbal war between President Chen Shui-bian and Ma yesterday a day after Ma remarked that Taiwan is his homeland because his ancestors were buried here.
Speaking to a group of supporters in Taipei Saturday, Ma remarked that he believed that homeland is the place where one's late family members have been put to rest.
"Since my grandmother and my father were buried in Taipei City, this is my homeland," said Ma, who was born in Hong Kong whereas his ancestors originated from China, to prove to his supporters that he identifies himself with Taiwan and has great affection for the island.
Ma's comments, however, failed to persuade the president, who told the public in Taoyuan yesterday morning that he did not believe that Ma has truly identified Taiwan as his native land.
Ma's identification with Taiwan as his hometown is a lie, which can be seen from the wording on his father's cremation urn, Chen declared.
He revealed that the wording on the cremation urn of Ma's father, ex-KMT official Ma Ho-ling, declares "opposing (Taiwan) independence and moving gradually toward unification" with China.
The wording on the cremation urn also says "revitalizing China and moving forward to a world of great harmony," Chen said.
"I just asked someone to check it this morning before I come here," Chen said. He did not make public who he has requested to check the wording as well as how the person has accomplished the request when the place that Ma Ho-ling rests does not open to the public.
Chen highlighted the point that "There is no wording of "Taiwan" at all" to prove his view that Ma has never taken Taiwan as his motherland.
Ma's campaign spokesperson Lo Chih-chiang corrected Chen, saying that on Ma Ho-ling's cremation urn it was "turning (Taiwan) independence toward unification" with China, which proved that Ma's father was a "moderate," he said.
Lo criticized Chen, saying that his remarks about the cremation urn's wording failed to befit his capacity as leader of a democracy, in which "everyone enjoys free speech."
Furthermore, the criticism against a deceased person was indeed unkind, Lo noted. "We hope that the president can take an introspective look at himself," he concluded.