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Farewell letter by political dissident delivered 42 years after his death

2012/10/11 21:00:22

Taipei, Oct. 11 (CNA) Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai on Thursday delivered a farewell letter to the sister of a political dissident who was killed 42 years ago during the period of White Terror in Taiwan.

Chiang Yue-wei, the elder sister of Chiang Ping-hsing, sobbed as she was handed the letter by Lung, who was also in tears.

Chiang, a Taiwan independence advocate, was executed in May 1970 after he and other inmates of Taiyuan Prison in Taitung staged an uprising earlier in the year with the aim of starting an islandwide revolution.

"I miss father and mother dearly, and I hope to repay your love if there is an afterlife," Chiang wrote in the letter to his parents. "My duty and mission until death is to make this world a better place.”

Although the farewell letter came four decades late, it could still offer "belated comfort to the family," Lung said after leaving the Chiang family home in Taichung.

She said there are still 177 such letters and documents at the National Archive Bureau, written by victims of the White Terror era. The culture ministry will try to help the families retrieve those letters, she promised.

The damage cannot be undone, but "what I can do is bring these farewell letters to the families,” the minister said.

Lung expressed the hope that Taiwan will never again tread the same path as in the White Terror era, which lasted from May 19, 1949 to July 15, 1987.

It was a period of suppression of political dissidents and any discussion of the 228 Incident in Taiwan during an era of martial law.

Lung was accompanied on her visit to Taichung by Wang Yi-hsiang, director of the National Human Rights Museum Organization Office, and Tsai Kuan-yu, secretary-general of the Taiwan Association for the Care of the Victims of Political Persecution during the Martial Law Period.

(By Chen Shu-fen and Lilian Wu)
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