conspiracy over accidents
By Chen Ching-min and Stacy Hsu / Staff reporter, with staff
Two accidents and other incidents involving activists has spurred speculation on
the Internet that the incidents might have been “carefully orchestrated” by the
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in an effort to eliminate dissidents.
The administration of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who also doubles as KMT
chairman, has been bombarded with criticism for the past year over a wide range
of issues, from the forced demolition of four houses in Miaoli County’s Dapu
Borough (大埔) and the controversial cross-strait service trade agreement to the
death of army corporal Hung Chung-chiu (洪仲丘) in July and the fate of the Fourth
Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao Dictrict (貢寮), New Taipei City (新北市).
These issues have also given rise to a new wave of activism, attracting
students, film industry workers and others.
However, recent incidents where some of the participants were supposedly tailed
by intelligence agents or saw places they frequented allegedly attacked by
strangers have raised concerns that their safety could be under threat because
of their opposition to government policies.
The concerns were heightened on Saturday after Wei Yang (魏揚), spokesman of the
Black Island Nation Youth Front — which has strongly opposed the cross-strait
service trade accord — fractured his left hip in a traffic accident. He was hit
by a car from behind while riding a motorcycle in Hsinchu City.
On the same day, Taiwan Rural Front secretary-general Frida Tsai (蔡培慧) was hit
by a car while crossing a road in Miaoli. She suffered a skull fracture and
A netizen with the username “Taiwanish YU” asked whether the incidents were
another of the KMT’s “measures” to remove dissidents.
Another netizen who identified himself as “Tsay Ting-kuei” said: “It is possible
these accidents were orchestrated by the minions of the nation’s ‘dictator.’ We
should be more vigilant, but not afraid.”
Some netizens also drew a parallel between the two crashes and the incident that
left the wife of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) of the Democratic
Progressive Party (DPP), Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍), paralyzed from the waist down.
Wu was accompanying her husband on a post-election thank-you tour in then-Tainan
County’s Guanmiao Township (關廟) when she was repeatedly run over by a truck
driven by Chang Jung-tsai (張榮財) in 1985.
The accident occurred two days after Chen lost the election for county’s
commissioner, leading the DPP to allege that the crash was politically motivated
and labeled it: “political murder.”
DPP Legislator Lin Shu-fen (林淑芬) said yesterday that the accident involving Wei
coincided with a visit to Hsinchu by Association for Relations Across the Taiwan
Straits Chairman Chen Deming (陳德銘), while the one involving Tsai occurred right
after she had delivered a speech at Cafe De lam in Miaoli.
Cafe De lam is a coffee house run by Dapu activist Lin Yi-fang (林一方), which has
been attacked twice.
“I had better not over-interpret the incidents. However, I have warned some
activists to be on their guard,” Lin Shu-fen said.
Separately, DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said: “We asked the police for
an expedited investigation into the accidents and to find out the details about
the two cases. The government is responsible to protect people and their right
to freedom without fear.”
The DPP urged the public to rationally embrace the discussion of public policies
and social movements, Lin said.
DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) instructed the party to closely monitor the
development of the two cases and provide necessary assistance to Wei and Tsai,
Lin quoted Su as saying.
Additional reporting by Chris Wang