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Anti-nuclear activist releases statement after ending hunger strike

2014/04/30 21:48:34

Taipei, April 30 (CNA) Anti-nuclear activist and former opposition head Lin Yi-hsiung urged the public to continue protesting against nuclear power Wednesday, the day he ended his hunger strike on its ninth day due to widespread concern over his health.

The 72-year-old said in a statement that the fourth nuclear power plant -- the target of his hunger strike -- is "no longer an issue" since the government has decided to call off work on the nearly completed plant.

But he asked the people of Taiwan to commit themselves to seeing that the other three nuclear power plants are decommissioned as planned between 2018 and 2025.

He also urged fighting to ensure Taiwan remains a sovereign democracy.

Lin expressed gratitude to all Taiwanese, noting that support poured in from friends and strangers alike when he announced mid-month that he would begin a hunger strike to demand an end to construction on the nearly completed power plant.

He said he was "deeply touched and grateful" for the outpouring of support for Taiwan and for himself he has witnessed since he began his hunger strike April 22 at the Taipei church that used to be his home.

He reserved criticism, though, for the administration's "word game" in announcing an end to construction using the Chinese words "ting gong" (end work) instead of "ting jian" (end construction), which Lin believes leaves room for completing the plant at a later date.

"From the cross-strait trade-in-services pact to the fourth nuclear power plant, every action taken by those in power have met steep resistance from civil society and even contempt," Lin said.

For a government that takes the people "as its enemy," there should be "no more fantasies that (the government) will do anything positive that meets the will of the Taiwanese people," calling for continued protest to protect Taiwan's best interests.

"What we must do is to work to block them from continuing to undermine Taiwan's democracy and sell out Taiwan's sovereignty," he said, calling the recent string of protests an "awakening" of the public.

While it will take time to nurture "the power of the people," in the short term, people can "spend time and energy to refine your protest ability."

He suggested that ability should be employed to demand lawmakers amend the Referendum Act to relax restrictions, to block the passing of special statutes on free economic pilot zones, to convene a "civic constitutional meeting" aimed at constitutional amendment, and to demand that candidates from local to national levels commit to abolishing nuclear energy.

(By Sophia Yeh and Lilian Wu)
Enditem/WH

Related stories:
●April 28: Lin Yi-hsiung hospitalized during hunger strike against nuclear plant
●April 27: Government halts fourth nuclear plant construction (update 2)
●April 22: Ex-DPP chief begins fast to push for scrapping of nuclear plant

(Click here for stories before the debate on nuclear power was recently rekindled.)