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Tens of thousands expected to 'outcry' against president

'Show power of civil society,' urges DPP Chairwoman Tsai

Tens of thousands expected to 'outcry' against president

Tens of thousands of Taiwan citizens are expected to demand "economy, sovereignty and transparency" in the first major protest against the Chinese Nationalist Party government of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) this afternoon in Taipei City.
Taiwan Society Secretary-General Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) said his organization and over 100 Taiwan- centric civic organizations along with local branches of the former governing Democratic Progressive Party, had launched the protest due to the disappointing performance in economic policy of the new KMT government and "worrying signs that it is taking a disastrous policy direction that is eroding our sovereignty."
Lo said the "Outcry from the People" march had three major themes, "economy, sovereignty and sunshine," and five demands.
The Taiwan Society spokesman said that "Ma should apologize for not realizing his campaign promise to realize six percent economic growth."
Second, Lo said Ma "should contribute half of his salary to charity as he promised in the campaign debate with (Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate) Frank Hsieh (謝長廷)."
Third, Lo said the march would demand that the KMT government reduce income taxes to help disadvantaged families over the current economic difficulties and stabilize prices.
Fourth, the Taiwan Society spokesman called on Ma and the KMT to "show their sincerity to fight corruption" by immediately passing "sunshine" laws including statutes on the criminalization of income the origin of which cannot be ascertained and also the long delayed draft statute on the handling of ill-gotten party assets.
Finally, Lo stated that "the people of Taiwan should have the final right of decision on any cross-strait agreements, including a possible peace pact with China, through referendum."
The Taiwan Society spokesman said the activity, which will take place regardless of the weather, would begin with marches to Ketegalan Boulevard from Lungshan Temple in western Taipei's Wanhua District and along Zhongxiao East Road in eastern Taipei.
The western route, which will include former presidential adviser Koo Kwan-min, the Association of Taiwan Professors and other civic groups, will assemble at the Lungshan Temple and march along Zhonghua Road to Hankou Street, Zhongqing Road, Xiangyang Road and Gongyuan Road, Changde Street to Zhongshan South Road and down to Ketagalan Boulevard.
Participants on the eastern route, who will be led by Taiwan Society Chairman Wu Shu-min and rock singer Freddy Lin, will gather first at the Tinghao Market on Zhongxiao East Road Section Four and march west along Zhongxiao East Road and turn left at Linsen South Road and then turn east on Qingdao East Road to Zhongshan South Road and proceed south to the Jingfu Gate at the intersection of Ketagalan Boulevard and Zhongshan South Road.
Citing a "far larger than expected" turnout, Lo said that the leading elements of the two routes will start out 10 minutes earlier than expected at 2:50 p.m.
Lo emphasized that the former ruling party was "playing a supportive and not a leading role" in the organization of the march.
Democratic Progressive Party Culture and Information Department Director Cheng Wen-tsan said that the DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will participate in the western route and also make a brief address at Ketegalan Boulevard at approximately 5:15 p.m.
In a statement released by the DPP, Tsai urged DPP participants to respect the core themes of "sovereignty, economy and transparency" and "display the power of civil society, strive for the greatest support from society and let the Ma government clearly hear the voices of the people."
After the two routes join at Jingfu Gate, the rally will begin featuring a "prayer for Taiwan" service led by Presbyterian minister and former political prisoner Kao Chun-ming, performances by Taiwanese folk singers Chen Ming-chang and Wang Ming-cheh, and speeches by Taiwan Society Chairman Wu Shu-min, former Council for Cultural Affairs vice minister Wu Chin-fa and will end at 7 p.m. with a ceremony to launch a "new citizen movement."
Lo urged supporters to refrain from bringing banners or placards that did not match the three major themes and five demands and stressed that the march had nothing to with the investigation regarding offshore banking accounts alleged held by president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and members of his family.


Updated : 2021-10-17 12:30 GMT+08:00