Newspaper article China Post

Student Activist Commits Suicide

Newspaper article China Post

Student Activist Commits Suicide

Article excerpt

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TAIPEI, Taiwan -- About 300 students of anti-curriculum guidelines revision groups scaled the fence of the Legislative Yuan yesterday and gathered at its front gate to protest the death of their member Lin Kuan-hua who committed suicide yesterday in New Taipei City.

Student activist Lin Kuan-hua, who was arrested last week for his role in a 33-person storming of the Ministry of Education (MOE), was found dead in his family residence after committing suicide yesterday in New Taipei. Lin, who would have marked his 20th birthday yesterday, was active in student protests against high school curriculum guideline changes which have stirred controversy over the island's history.

The cause of Lin's death was attributed to the burning of coal inside his room. Lin's parents said that their son's suicide had nothing to do with his activism against the curriculum guidelines, and that he had struggled with depression. Lin, who once attended Juang Jing Vocational High School had taken time off from his studies in June to participate in the student movement, serving as a spokesman representing Northern Taiwan high school students.

Minister of Education Wu Se-hwa, under pressure from opposition party leaders to show leniency against students involved in the protest, stated in an afternoon news conference that he was "willing to take full responsibility" on the matter. He was heckled by students as he made his way to pay respects to the Lin family, and said to reporters afterwards that his heart was "full of guilt." The minister added that since textbooks adhering to both the old and new guidelines are available for use, it implied that the old curriculum standards were still in effect.

"The MOE has never interfered with the decision of teachers on which textbooks to use," Wu said.

We Need Peace: Lin's Mother

Lin's mother said that the family had planned to celebrate their son's birthday yesterday. …

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