Group calls for Ko to be bolder on Taipei Dome

‘INADEQUATE’:Songshan Tree Protection Volunteer Union head Yu Yi said that the group’s right to protest was legally protected by the freedom of speech
Date of Release: 
May 3 2015

Amid rising safety concerns related to the Taipei Dome project, the Songshan Tree Protection Volunteer Union yesterday called on Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) to adopt a bolder stance in negotiations with Farglory Land Development Co (遠雄建設) about the controversial Taipei Dome project, while reasserting that it would continue its campaign until the project is terminated.
Union director Yu Yi (游藝) yesterday said regarding recent remarks by Ko about the project that the Taipei City Government should give up its “flip-flop” stance and announce a plan to demolish the Taipei Dome.

He said that construction of the structure has fallen seriously behind schedule and caused obvious land subsidence in areas surrounding the construction site — both of which Yu said are evidence of Farglory’s “poor work” and solid points that would help the city government win possible lawsuits filed by Farglory if Ko decides to invalidate the company’s contract.
“The Taipei City Government should not be so afraid of potential lawsuits or compensation. It has a fairly good chance of winning,” he said.

People opposed to the project have said that it has been rife with corruption from the bidding and contracting process, managed by the administration of then-Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), to the environmental impact assessment during former Taipei mayor Hau Lung-bin’s (郝龍斌) time in office.

Ko last month said the Taipei Clean Government Committee is “decrypting” data related to dealings between former administrations and Farglory, and also called into question Ma’s and Hau’s integrity.

Yu also rejected comments that surfaced recently that say the Dome must be completed to avoid MRT Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall Station from being seriously compromised.
“Tearing down the Dome and potential safety hazards are two separate things. While it is true that the underground base of the Dome has impacted the MRT station and it must be completed, the Dome itself has nothing to do with the station and demolishing it would not be a problem,” he said.

In response to an allegation by Farglory last week that the tree protection volunteers illegally occupy a sidewalk adjacent to the construction site, Yu said that the corporation last year unsuccessfully sued union members who physically blocked one of its gravel trucks, providing as proof a non-prosecution agreement issued by the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office, which proclaimed the union’s right to campaign is protected by the freedom of speech.

“I hope Farglory takes back its inadequate comment,” he said.

He said that the union has been collecting petitions from Taipei residents for a plebiscite to determine the fate of the Taipei Dome, and an online petition would be launched soon.

“We hope to defend and promote the values we believe to be right for this city, so that future generations will know that a group of people once stood up against inadequate development by large corporations,” Yu said.

Source URL: Taipei Times

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