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Three Human Rights Memorial Halls in Taiwan sign a Memorandum of Cooperation to share resources and promote human rights education
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the 228 incident in Taiwan and the 30th anniversary of the lifting of martial law. To help the government realize the concept of transitional justice, three of the country’s human rights memorial halls—the 228 Memorial Hall in Taipei, the 228 National Memorial Hall, and the National Human Rights Museum Planning Office—have entered a Memorandum of Cooperation signed on March 1 by Taipei City's Vice Mayor Chen Chin-Jun, 228 Foundation Chairman Hsueh Hua-Yuan, and Minister of Culture Cheng Li-Chiun. It is hoped that reorganizing the resources of the three institutions will help to clarify historical truth, realize transitional justice and promote human rights education so that human rights and democracy become the cornerstone of Taiwan’s social development.The three institutions are located in Taipei City and each possesses a wealth of historical materials. The signing ceremony was held at the 228 Memorial Museum Arts Square in Taipei in the presence of around a hundred invitees, including families of victims of the 228 Incident and the White Terror. The planned cooperation is hoped to deepen historical research on these areas and promote the display of related historical materials, as well as promoting human rights education and social reconciliation.In his speech, Chairman Hsueh Hua-Yuan said that he was happy to see the three institutions formally take a joint step towards establishing a data platform for this area of Taiwanese history. Minister of Culture Cheng Li-Chiun said that this painful period—from the beginning of the 228 Incident to the White Terror that lasted for the next forty years—must not be avoided and that it was time to “fully promote transitional justice.” Vice Mayor Chen Chin-Jun said that we should be grateful to the democracy champions of the past for the peace and freedom that Taiwan enjoys today, and that we should come together to uncover the true history of the persecution of these freedom fighters. Chairman of Community Education Foundation Chien Ming-Jen spoke on behalf of victims’ families and said that in the wake of the 228 Incident his father Chien Chi was persecuted and shot for his role in the Taiwanese Peasant Movement. “Promoting justice is about finding historical truth and vindicating our forebears,” said Chien.The three signatory institutions put out a joint statement saying that conflict between Taiwan’s authoritarian rulers and the rest of society led to the 228 Incident in 1947. Martial law was enforced in 1949, and this caused Taiwan to be enveloped in a white terror lasting several decades, resulting in a collective trauma that has still not completely disappeared. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the 228 Incident. On this historically significant day, the three institutions have come together to sign a Memorandum of Cooperation in the hope of pooling forces to explore historical truth, help ease the pain of victims, and reconcile the people of Taiwan through transitional justice.