On Monday, Taiwan commemorated the victims of violent government oppression in 1947, an event known as the 228 Incident. Over several weeks that year, government forces killed thousands of civilians in a campaign to suppress popular unrest. Events in Ukraine lend this year’s memorial an extra sense of poignancy.
A somber atmosphere prevails in Keelung Harbor. Senior government figures are here to commemorate the 228 Incident, a popular uprising in 1947 brutally crushed by government forces.
Keelung City Mayor Lin You-chang says his city will mark the event on March 8, because that’s the day government troops landed in Keelung Harbor to violently put down the unrest.
President Tsai Ing-wen offered flowers in memory of the victims.
Tsai says the government is pushing ahead with its efforts towards transitional justice, including plans to change monuments to Chiang Kai-shek, who led Taiwan for decades under martial law. She says democratic countries shouldn't commemorate their former leaders in the way authoritarian regimes do.
Tsai also addressed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. She says Ukrainian people are resolutely defending their sovereignty and showing their commitment to maintaining a free and democratic society.
Tsai says people chasing freedom and democracy around the world have been touched by events in Ukraine. She says she hopes the international community can increase its support for Ukraine even more.
Tsai says only a united country can face change and overcome challenges. Her duty, she says, is to unite Taiwan and defend its democracy.
Staś Butler, RTI News.