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President vows to complete report on transitional justice

2016/05/20 15:36:34

President Tsai Ing-wen (left) and Vice President Chen Chien-jen.

Taipei, May 20 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said in her inaugural address Friday that her administration will complete a report on transitional justice within three years.

Tsai said her government will work with civil society to align its policies with the values of diversity, equality, openness, transparency and human rights so as to deepen and evolve Taiwan's democratic institutions.

"For the new democratic system to move forward, we must first find a way to face the past together," she said.

As part of that effort, a truth and reconciliation commission will be established under the Presidential Office, she said.

"We will begin by investigating and sorting through the facts. Within the next three years, we plan to complete Taiwan's own investigative report on transitional justice," she said.

Follow-up work on transitional justice will then be carried out in accordance with the truth unveiled in the report, she went on, adding that the government will discover the truth, heal the wounds, and clarify responsibilities.

"From here on out, history will no longer divide Taiwan. Instead, it will propel Taiwan forward," she said.

The president said the new government will uphold the same principles when addressing issues concerning Taiwan's indigenous peoples and will address issues concerning them with an apologetic attitude.

She said her administration will work to rebuild an indigenous historical perspective, progressively promote indigenous autonomous governance, restore indigenous languages and cultures, and improve the livelihood of indigenous communities.

Taiwan has nearly 550,000 indigenous people, or nearly 2.4 percent of the island's population of 23 million. Until recent years, the indigenous tribes had generally not received the same treatment as the Han Chinese who did not began to immigrate to the island in great numbers until the 17th century.

Tsai also said that the new government will promote judicial reform and will hold a national congress on judicial issues in October.

The judicial system must respond to the needs of the people and will no longer be a judicial system for legal professionals only, she said.

(By Sophia Yeh and Y.F. Low)

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