Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Civic Groups Oppose Dictator's Name for Park

Dear All,

This is the hot issue now here in South Korea.


Amin Iskandar.

Civic Groups Oppose Dictator's Name for Park

Civic groups and netizens gathered on Monday to oppose a local government's decision to name a park after a dictator in Hapchon, South Kyongsang Province.

Hapchon county said that it has decided to name the yet-to-be-built park ``Ilhae Park,'' after former President Chun Doo-hwan's pen name.

Chun grabbed power in a coup in 1981, and in 1996, was involved in a bribery scandal that took place during his presidency.

Hapchon county held a residents' vote on Dec. 20 to name the park and the name Ilhae Park was the most favored. After the result was announced, many residents and netizens opposed the decision.

They said the name would be an embarrassment as Chun was a dictator, who made people suffer. They said the voting process was in doubt since the opening process was not done properly and they questioned whether the voters followed their will or not.

The group has held several rallies, asking the government to withdraw the naming decision.

Hapchon Residents' Movement headquarters said that it will file for a provisional disposition to stop the 3.5 billion won construction project and will also launch a signature-gathering campaign to annul the decision.

However, the local government recently said it has no plan to change the decision and that the name will be officially announced soon.

News from Korean Times.

Chanho Kim
Director International Cooperation Team
Mobile: +82 10 4462 6650

Contact info:
The May 18 Memorial Foundation
5.18 Memorial Culture Hall
Seo-Gu, Sangmudong 1268
Postcode  502-260
Gwangju, Republic of Korea
Phone: +82 62 456 0518  
Fax. +82 62 456 0519
Website :

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