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Taiwan ex-President Lee Teng-huei visits Wild Strawberry Movement protesters

December 7, 2008

Taiwan News, Website Editorial Staff
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former president Lee Teng-huei (李登輝) today visited Wild Strawberry Movement students at Liberty Square and promised to provide assistance to protesters with their demand to amend the Parade and Assembly Law.
Lee originally planned to visit the students Sunday on the Movement’s one-month anniversary but advanced his visit for a conflicting schedule. He told the students to take care of themselves amidst the cold weather and cheered for the demonstration to be staged tomorrow.
Lee said he agreed on the movement’s law amendment demand. The true essence of democracy lies in “power of the people”, said Lee, and government should not ask a demonstration to be held followed by application, but only to dispatch the police when violence occurred.
Lee asked Taiwan Solidarity Union Chairman Huang Kuen-huei (黃昆輝), who accompanied him on-site, to work on the law amendment in the Legislative Yuan.
When asked by students that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had said the timing was not opportune for Dalai Lama’s Taiwan visit, Lee replied that the government had no reasons to object to Dalai’s visit.
Lee said that Dalai Lama was his friend and had visited Taiwan in 1997 during Lee’s presidency. The government should welcome Dalai Lama, especially in a time when people suffered from the financial storm and needed the religious guidance more than ever. “The timing is absolutely appropriate,” said Lee.
The Wild Strawberry Movement is scheduled to disperse from the Liberty Square following the rally to be held Sunday.
The Movement staged by students began on Nov. 6 to protest the brutality of the police to handle protesters opposing China’s top envoy Chen Yunlin’s (陳雲林) Taiwan visit. The students demanded to amend the Parade and Assembly Law and replace the approval system with registration. The amendment draft was passed by the Legislative Yuan on Dec. 3.
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