Activists throw paint, eggs at Taiwan's Cabinet

The activists urged Premier Jiang Yi-huah to talk with them about the Dapu demolitions.

TAIPEI - Some 30 activists yesterday morning splattered paint and eggs on the entrance of the Cabinet building as a protest over the controversial demolition of homes in Miaoli County's Dapu Village.

The band of activists, comprised mostly of college students, snuck past security and into the grounds via a side entrance at around 9 a.m. The activists, wielding paint-filled balloons, water balloons and eggs, launched a gooey barrage at the entrance of the Cabinet headquarters.

Police expelled the activists from the scene about 25 minutes later. Afterward, the Executive Yuan closed all side doors.

The activists lingered in front of the Cabinet and urged Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) to come out and talk with them about the Dapu demolitions.

The Miaoli County Government on July 18 razed four households in the village against the owners' wishes. The demolitions were carried out while the owners and their supporters were protesting in Taipei.

The homes were destroyed to make way for an urban development project involving the construction of a science park.

Since the demolitions, several protests have been staged in both Miaoli County and Taipei.

Activists have demanded that Jiang apologise on behalf of the government, and provide proper compensation to the owners of the households.

The government has also been called on to return the land rights to the owners.

The protesters yesterday urged the government to deal with the issue and face the public's anger. Another protest is scheduled to take place on Ketagalan Boulevard this Sunday.

In response to the incident, Cabinet spokeswoman Cheng Li-wun (鄭麗文) cited Premier Jiang as saying that, as Taiwan is a democratic country, everyone here enjoys freedom of speech and the right to let their voices be heard.

Nevertheless, Cheng said, the premier has demanded a full review of yesterday's incident by law enforcement to ensure that the safety of the governmental institution is protected.

Jiang said that all local governments should act in accordance with the law. Making clear that this is happening is especially important when dealing with controversial issues, he said, while also noting that local governments should also consider people's feelings and put more effort into communication.