Chiang mausoleums to reopen for a day

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 April, 2008, 12:00am

Taiwan's Defence Ministry will reopen the mausoleums of Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-shek and his son Chiang Ching-kuo on Saturday after closing them for more than three months.

'The reopening is due to consideration that April 5 is the 33rd anniversary of the death of the late president Chiang Kai-shek, and many members of various social sectors wish to pay respects to him,' military spokeswoman Chi Yu-lan said.

She said the military had notified the Interior Ministry of its decision and the mausoleums of the two leaders would be opened only on Saturday, which coincides with the grave sweeping festival. She said whether the two places would be reopened for regular public visits was up to the Interior Ministry, which has jurisdiction over the mausoleums in Tzuhu and nearby Tashi in northern Taiwan.

Despite protests by the KMT, the two mausoleums were closed in late December as part of a campaign by the pro-independence Chen Shui-bian government to remove the legacy of Chiang Kai-shek. The victory of the KMT's Ma Ying-jeou in last month's presidential election has put an end to the campaign.

Mr Ma has said he will seek public opinion on whether to change the title of a memorial in Taipei back to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. Its title was changed to Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall by the Chen government late last year despite protests from the KMT and its supporters.