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The February 28 Incident Commemoration in Taipei

Mr. Lee Chul-woo(Chairman, the May 18 Memorial Foundation) and Mr. Jang Min-hyuk(International Affairs Department, the May 18 Memorial Foundation) visited the February 28 Incident National Memorial Museum and the February 28 Incident Fund Association from Feb. 27 to 28, 2019 at the invitation of Taiwan's the February 28 Incident Fund Association (Chairman Sheihwa-wian, 薛化元) and attended the 72nd anniversary commemoration of the February 28 Incident. Also, Chairman Yang jo-hoon and the board of directors of the Jeju April 3 Peace Foundation and executives of the Jeju April 3 Incident Bereaved Families Association were present at the commemoration.

Mr. Lee Chul-woo and the delegation from the Jeju April 3 Peace Foundation visited the February 28 Incident National Memorial Hall on Feb. 27 to tour the Memorial Hall under the guidance of Mr. Jeong Nae-wi(Director, the February 28 Incident Fund Association). They had a meeting with Mr. Yang Jeon Roung(President of the Executive Committee), Mr. Liu Zhao Yuan(Vice President of the Executive Committee), Mr. Pan Shin Sing(Chairman, the February 28 Incident Bereaved Families), and Mr. So Myong Chi(Chairman, the Taipei February 28 Incident Memorial Hall).

On the 27th, Mr. Yang Jeon Roung informed attendees about the fact-finding of the February 28 Incident and the on-going process regarding recovering victim’s honor and requested help based on the May 18 Memorial Foundation and the Jeju April 3 Peace Foundation’s past experience. And Mr. Lee Chul-woo announced the situation in Korea and the recent abusive remarks concerning the May 18 Uprising by certain party politicians and the truth revealing committee failure to launch properly even after the enactment of the Special Law. He emphasized, though, that history is progressive and that we should have solidarity and unite with each other. Mr. Yang Jo-hoon asked for cooperation from the February 28 Incident Fund Association and the May 18 Memorial Foundation regarding the UN April 3 Forum, which is scheduled to be held in New York in the second half of this year. The the February 28 Incident Fund Association decided to support as a sponsor and will cooperate with the participation of the February 28 Incident Victims and related people in New York through the February 28 Incident Bereaved Family Association. Also Mr. Lee Chul-woo said he will request cooperation from the New York Human Rights Center which is in partnership with the May 18 Memorial Foundation, relevant organization, and people in the USA.

On the 28th, the commemoration was held by the February 28 Incident Fund Association and Taipei at the February 28 Incident Memorial Park. Invited guests from home and abroad, including Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-won, and victims and bereaved families of the February 28 Incident attended the Memorial Ceremony.

Taiwan’s President promised reckoning and recovering victim’s honor, stressing that “past liquidation is truly treatment of wounds and promised not to repeat the same mistake that would awaken wounds”, in his memorial address.

During the Ceremony, Mr. Tsai Ing-won drew attention by directly handing four victims written promises to regain their honor. The February 28 Incident Commemorations were held in 23 cities in Taiwan, including Taipei City.

After the Ceremony, Mr. Lee Chul-woo and Mr. Yang Jo-hoon had a meeting with Professor Ju Ri-si(朱立熙), a professor of political science at Taiwan University and chairman of the Jihan Cultural Association(知韓文化協會), who has been active in Korea, and Mr. Rya O Shwangching(廖雙慶) from the Special Education Department of the Taiwan Ministry of Education. Professor Ju and Mr. Rya said that they hope to pursue more active projects regarding the May 18 Uprising and human rights education, and, from now on, the Ministry of Education will work together with the May 18 Memorial Foundation directly because the relationship between the Foundation and the Kaohsiung area, which has had exchanges with the Foundation in the education sector, is being weakened as the Kaohsiung’s ruling party has undergone changes because of local elections. In response, Mr. Lee Chul-woo also promised to pursue activities in the future in a way that will further develop interactions with the Foundation's Education and Culture Department.

The May 18 Memorial Foundation and Taiwan's the February 28 Incident Memorial Fund Association signed an MOU in 2007 and have actively engaged in exchanges related to democracy and human rights. The Foundation, along with the February 28 Incident Memorial Fund Association, will continue to exchange and have solidarity with local and foreign network organizations related to human rights and human rights violations.