Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Commemoration of the 60th anniversary of 2-28 Massacre in Taiwan

In February the 27th of 1947, after China took over Taiwan, under Chiang Kai-Shek’s KuoMinTang, KMT regime, a tragic incident happened and some people were killed by the government officials. In Taipei, when Taiwanese asked the justice on 2/28/1947, most of them were killed or wound under the command of the governor. Later, hundreds and thousands of innocent civilians were killed by the army while some of them were important political figures, who tried hard to solve the conflict between the government and angry civilians. This incident started an arbitrary tyranny which had been oppressing Taiwanese for 50 years. (For more details about the following massacre in ChiaYi, you can check judie35's blog.)

To commemorate the death in 2/28/1947 and thereafter, February 28th is called Peace Memorial Day. Judie35 said, 'I agree with Yi-Hsiung Lin's opinion that we should not only focus on the governors from China or the conflict between Taiwanese and Chinese at that time. We should find the root of the massacre: the autarchy killed the people who wanted justice and the leaders of the people to assure its ruling. We should learn how to avoid autarchy from the heartrending history.'

In 2004, Hand-in-hand safeguard Taiwan alliance proposed 'a special event on 2/28.' That was the first time so many people went out for a peace march in Taiwan. At last, there were two million people and lined up for 500km. In a forum in China, static stone commented the event, 'Taiwanese are fooled by Chen, Shui-Ben. They asked for peace, but they do not know that we enforce the military force toward Taiwan because Chen's government is pro-independence. If they want peace, they should ask Chen to step down.' At the same time, Yuan-Shen Chiang wrote in his blog, 'I do not care if it is related to the presidential election later. I am happy I joined the event because I believe it is meaningful. We took actions to show our love for the place we live.'

This year, the 60th anniversary of the massacre, a group of local artists is set to commemorate 2/28 Peace Memorial Day with the staging of a music concert under the theme, "With justice we cure this nation." Renowned international rocks bands such as "Plastic People of the Universe," "Strike Anywhere," "Muse," "Akiakane," "Pan Gu," and local independent rock bands "Chthonic," "Tizzy Bac," "Loh Tsui Kweh Commune" will be among the groups performing live on February 28. Sound and fury said, 'They (Plastic People of the Universe) sing for rock, justice, democracy, and human dignity. Yes, they will show up in Taipei, and sing in a concert that reflect the autarchy. Isn't the event very suitable for their performance'

Outside of Taiwan, in USA, there is also a commemoration march from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C for five days (2/24-2/28).

On internet, Taiwanese bloggers first held 'the 228 Show Taiwan Writing Marathon' last year. It also drew major Taiwanese media's attention. Because of the success, they hold this event again this year.

Of course, there are some people bored by the commemoration. Huei-Hsien Peng (a Taiwanese writer) wrote, 'All the us still live in the curse of 228. The first generation of the victims contend their bitterness, and the second, the third generation continue. To what degree you will feel it is enough?' She also pointed out, 'led by the ruling party, the mind set behind the commemoration is so narrow that they focus on a specific group of people and a specific political party (KMT).' On the other hand, Fang-Chai Yeh Hua said, 'the With justice we cure this nation concert hope to raise the awareness of the transitional justice.' Sound and fury said, 'Samuel P. Hungtington, the author of The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century, brought up a major problem for most developing countries—when a new democratic government face the killings made by the past autarchy, what should we do? Ask for justice and punishment, or forgive and forget?'

The people seeing 228 Massacre in 1947 and the oppression thereafter are 80 year-old now. Many victims ask the truth to be revealed and justice. Furthermore, Tofu fish wrote in her blog: we should try to adapt literature and art to let more people in this island understand and discuss what happened in the past. Through grass-roots efforts, someday there will be no need for indictment, and we can really make peace.'

If you like music, there are some music used in the Peace Memorial Day (228 commemoration day) concert: 'Taiwan the Green,' a poem written by John Jyigiokk, adapted by Tyzen Hsiao in his '1947 Overture', Je-Lin Hsieh singing 'Taiwan Lily', music by Anjamama and lyric by Kufao, and Hui-Ju Chen singing 'The Spiritual Day of Taiwan', music by Lynn Huang and lyric by Tu-Pan F. G.

If you like drawings, you can check the print 'horrid exam-228 incident in Taiwan' by Jung-Tsan Huang (in the Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura & Hayama), 'Massacre in Keelung harbor on 3/8/1947' by Bing-Shyi Shih, and an oil painting by Wen Ouyang, who is also a survivor of 228 Massacre.

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