April and May Updates About Su Beng

For quite some time Su Beng has wanted to erect a monument to commemorate Cheng Ping ( 鄭評), who was executed for his involvement in an attempt to assassinate Chiang Ching-Kuo in 1974. Chiang, the son of Chiang Kai-Shek, was the Premier of Taiwan at the time.  Cheng was a member of Su Beng's underground Revolutionary Army of Taiwan Independence.

On April 11, Su Beng and a busload of friends and supporters went to the Holy Mountain in central Taiwan for an unveiling of the monument and memorial for Cheng Ping.

 Photo courtesy of: 林幸蓉 

Photo courtesy of: 林幸蓉 

 

Here are some photos of opening ceremonies prior to the unveiling of the monument.

 

Artwork with the image of Cheng Ping 鄭評) on it. 

 

Table with worship offerings.

Su Beng getting ready to place a white lily at the monument.

 Photo courtesy of: 林幸蓉 

Photo courtesy of: 林幸蓉 

 In Taiwan white lilies are a symbol to commemorate victims of the White Terror Era an the 228 incident/massacre.

In Taiwan white lilies are a symbol to commemorate victims of the White Terror Era an the 228 incident/massacre.

Su Beng is now on INSTAGRAM!

It was also sometime in April I believe, that I noticed Su Beng started being on Instagram! Now how many 96 year olds will you'll find on Instagram? You can find him there @su_beng1918

Su Beng has always been quite open to technology and social media, but much of the credit and thanks for managing all of his social media must go to his assistant Bin Hong.

 A photo of Bin Hong with Su Beng, March 30, 2014.

A photo of Bin Hong with Su Beng, March 30, 2014.

In late April,  黃謙賢, a photographer, presented Su Beng with a life-sized photograph that he had taken of Su Beng in 2012.

On May 9th, The Last Insurrection (末代叛亂犯), a documentary film about the "Taiwan Independence Association Incident" premiered. The incident, which happened in 1990, involved four people who were accused of being a part of Su Beng's underground Taiwan Independence Association-- NTHU student Liao Wei-chen (廖偉程), aboriginal rights activist Masao Nikar, political activist Wang Hsiu-hui (王秀惠) and historian Chen Cheng-jen (陳正然). The four were arrested and charged with sedition.  

 Su Beng and Liao Chein-hua  (廖建華)  director of The Last Insurrection  (末代叛亂犯)

Su Beng and Liao Chein-hua (廖建華) director of The Last Insurrection (末代叛亂犯)

The arrests led to student strikes, demonstrations and occupation of the Taipei Railway Station in protest of the government's clamp down on freedom of expression. This put pressure on the legislature to abolish The Punishment of Rebellion Act (懲治叛亂條例) and on May 17, 1990 it was indeed abolished. Under the Punishment of Rebellion Act, the four arrested in conjunction with the "Taiwan Independence  Association Incident" would have been subject to the death penalty if found guilty. 

Here's the trailer for The Last Insurrection (末代叛亂犯):

24 years later, on May 17, there was a public screening of The Last Insurrection (末代叛亂犯) in the Taipei Rail Station. To learn more about The Last Insurrection read this Taipei Times article about the film.

 DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen and Su Beng

DPP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen and Su Beng

 Photo courtesy of: Kyoto Sanata

Photo courtesy of: Kyoto Sanata

On May 19th Su Beng spoke at National Chung Cheng University.

 A plaque at the National Chung Cheng University   commemorating the Sunflower Movement which began March 18, 2014.

A plaque at the National Chung Cheng University commemorating the Sunflower Movement which began March 18, 2014.

  A closer look at the plaque commemorating the Sunflower Movement which began March 18, 2014. 

A closer look at the plaque commemorating the Sunflower Movement which began March 18, 2014. 

On May 19th, Su Beng also attended the annual memorial service for Chan I-Hua (詹益樺).

On May 24th Su Beng commemorated the death of dancer Tsai Jui-yueh at the Taiepi City Tsai Jui-Yueh Dance Foundation. Tsai served time as a political prisoner on Green Island and has been called "the mother of Taiwanese modern dance."

Since the end of May there have been a series of protests by high school students in Taiwan over changes made to new high school textbooks to be introduced in August. According to this Taipei Times article, at least 16 schools nationwide have participated in this action. The changes to the textbooks include the editing of Taiwan's history and the deletion of references to the White Terror era, the 228 incident and activist Deng Nan-jung (鄭南榕). Having been made aware of these changes, high school students are now protesting by saying that they don't want to be brainwashed.

There was a time, not that long ago that Taiwan history actually HAD to be added into high school textbooks. Grassroots movements in the 1980's led to some of the first curriculum reforms in the mid-1990's.  

Critics have charged that the new history textbooks reflect a China-centric point of view.The current controversy over high school textbooks started back in early 2014 when the Ministry of Education first approved these changes, academics, activists, students, civic organizations protested the hasty review process and unqualified task force. To learn more about the high school text book controversy read this in depth article written by Ketty Chen.  

Su Beng has come out in support of the students' actions. On May 30th he was invited to speak at the Hui Deng middle school in Illan. He told the students that they are the "masters" of Taiwan and that the future of Taiwan is in their hands. He also urged them to focus on their studies and education now so that they don't have any regrets about it later in life. And as a parting piece of advice, he said what while students should study hard, they should also play hard. 

 Su Beng and students from Hui Deng middle school.

Su Beng and students from Hui Deng middle school.

He was also honored by the school with a commemorative bronze plaque.

On May 31, Su Beng showed up at the Chungli (中壢) train station in support of students protesting about the textbook revision controversy.