My amazing world

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

"228" a spark of freedom, self determination?


Today it's holiday in Taiwan and I'm at home. Couple of colleagues in ITE told me yesterday that I don't need to go to work as it's national holiday in Taiwan. I asked why? What's the importance, I didn't get clear answer(May be because of language problem).
What makes 2/28 so important in Taiwan history and politics?

On the same day of year 1947, the Nationalist Government which was ruling both mainland China & Taiwan (Initially, the Taiwanese accepted the Nationalist Government control of Taiwan after the Japanese surrender in 1945, without much resistance) massacred thousands of Taiwanese people. The people of Taiwan were always suppressed & exploited politically, economically & socially during the colonial rule.

On February 27, 1947 a policeman of the Taiwan (Formosa) Monopoly Bureau saw a woman selling smuggled cigarettes on the streets of the capital, Taipei. When he tried to seize her tray and money, she pulled away, and he struck her a crashing blow on the head with his revolver butt. She died at his feet. An angry mob gathered, and the police shot into the crowd, killing one person and wounding others. Forthwith a year and a half of gathering hatred for an inefficient, autocratic, corrupt administration exploded into unarmed demonstrations against the mainland Chinese.

The rioting which followed was not consciously revolutionary but was against the hated monopoly police which symbolized for the people the government's exploitation of their island. Unarmed processions marched to the government offices to demand punishment of the policemen, compensation for the dead and wounded, and dismissal of the head of the tobacco monopoly. They beat to death two policemen in front of the tobacco monopoly's office and burned the stocks of tobacco. Police guarding the Governor's office raked the crowd with machine-gun fire without provocation.

China put down the revolt with brutal repression, terror, and massacre. Mainland soldiers and police fired first killing thousands indiscriminately; then, more selectively, hunted down and jailed or slaughtered students, intellectuals, prominent business men, and civic leaders.

The Protest by Taiwanese people continued and the killing of innocent people, students and prominent people in the society also continued by KMT soldiers. The KMT soldiers massacred 28,000 citizens, first indiscriminately and then systematically targeting community leaders.

On the anniversary of the 228 Incident, it is prudent to ponder the consequences of "political integration with China." First, Taiwan's democracy will be dismantled, just as the Goddess of Freedom was quickly toppled in Beijing. Freedom of expression, religion and assembly will be suppressed. Second, all private property will be confiscated. The standard of living will plunge to the level of the Chinese people. Finally, life under CPC rule will be devoid of dignity. The life of every citizen will be at the mercy of the CPC's(Communist Party Of China) coercion.

If Taiwan were to fall into China's grasp, peacefully or otherwise, Beijing's ambitions for hegemony over East Asia and beyond would get a hefty boost. PLA strategists are already openly discussing a war with the US. In such a conflict, Taiwanese youth will be drafted into the PLA and forced to fight on the wrong side of history. Do the people of Taiwan really wish to fight for the hegemony of China and against the forces of democracy and freedom?

If the people of Taiwan want a bright future, then the goal should not be "a future `one China.'" A bright future can only come from an independent existence apart from China. And this is what Taiwan's President Mr.Chen Shui-bian said it openly and abolished the National Unification Council (NUC) and National Unification Guidelines (Guidelines)on 27th February 2006.

God bless Taiwan and give courage to Taiwan people and government to save it's freedom, dignity & sovereignty.

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