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Lin Yi-hsiung hospitalized during hunger strike against nuclear plant

2014/04/28 19:29:28

Taipei, April 28 (CNA) An enfeebled Lin Yi-hsiung was taken to the hospital Monday, the seventh day of his hunger strike to protest construction on the fourth nuclear power plant, but a spokesman said that his fast is not yet over.

Lin, a former chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), had headed to Yilan County at about 8:50 a.m. to pay respects to ancestors at his family's burial plot. At around 2:15 p.m., he returned to Gikong Presbyterian Church, where he has been fasting since April 22.

Volunteers helped the 72-year-old enter the church -- his former home and the site of a grisly attack that took the lives of his mother and twin daughters in 1980 -- as he struggled with a feeble and unstable gait but remained resolute in declining to answer media inquiries.

At around 3:40 p.m., spokeswoman Chen Li-kuei said: "Mr. Lin is heading to hospital to recuperate, and once he is recovered, he will thank everybody." Lin then climbed into a sedan and was transported to National Taiwan University Hospital.

Another spokesman, National Chung Cheng University professor Chen Shang-chih, explained that Lin's hunger strike is still ongoing.

However, by Monday evening volunteers had cleared Lin's belongings from the "fasting room" he had been using inside the church.

In response to inquiries on what Lin's next move will be, Chen Shang-chih said simply: "I don't know."

A day earlier, the ruling Kuomintang announced construction on the fourth nuclear power plant would come to an immediate halt. Chen Shang-chih had indicated the move did not meet Lin's demands that the government cancel the project for good, as the announcement was made by a political party.

Before leaving for the hospital Monday afternoon, Lin wrote a letter addressed to his surviving daughter. The letter, posted online by a volunteer on his behalf, said that he was determined to visit his hometown in Yilan, and despite his physical weakness, his wife helped him make it to put his heart at ease.

Lin wrote that although he cannot bear to leave his family behind, he believes he has been doing what is right and that this is the reason that his family members have not opposed his decision to go on the hunger strike.

(By Justin Su, Evelyn Kao and Wesley Holzer)
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Related stories:
●April 28: Nuclear energy should remain option in future: president
●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.)